The Fields of Play exhibition explores the dynamic intersection of memory, football and forced removals in the history of Cape Town. More than merely a scene of pastime and leisure, football offers us some insights into the complex social history that defined Cape Town as a modern South African city.  

The exhibition explores the emergence of football on the Green Point Common from the 1800s until the period of forced removals in the 1950s, and its re-organisation on the edges of an apartheid city. The exhibition is a tentative step towards deepening our understanding of forced removals and its consequences on those who administered, played and watched football in Cape Town. As Green Point Common once again becomes the focal point of football in the city with the approach of the 2010 Soccer World Cup we wish to recall the routes football has travelled from the difficult days of its emergence on the Common.

The exhibition offers an account of football as it was played on Green Point Common (Greenpoint), Maitland (Royal Road), Langa (Langa Stadium), Kenilworth (Rosmead Sports Ground), Athlone (Athlone Stadium), Observatory (Hartleyvale), Salt River (Shelley Street), Wynberg (William Herbert Sports Ground), Rylands (Rygate) and Stellenbosch.

Our Google map below shows the physical locations of such sites, and more information about them:

In presenting Fields of Play, the Museum has built on its methodology of combining oral histories and narratives drawn from vast private and public collections to enliven our understanding of the meaning of forced removals.

Please share any memories or comments in the comment box below.


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