Closed Constructions Public Programme

During the exhibition at the Workers Museum (October 2011 to January 2012) Closed Constructions will offer an engaging educational and cultural programme of exhibition walk open days for schools and a panel discussion. Find all the details of the Closed Constructions Public Programme here.

The Closed Constructions Public Programme is aimed at the preservation and promotion of migrant workers' heritage through educational activities for a diverse range of working class communities. One of its core principles is to foster dialogue on migration issues across communities from hostels, townships, and informal housing structures as well as the general public. The programme offers a platform for debates on the economic challenges and social injustices that former and current migrants are presently facing, while educating about the historical developments from which many of these challenges

originate. Anti-xenophobia work is a particular focus with which the programme aims to contribute positively to an inclusive and diverse South African society.
Closed Constructions Online Archive
Among other publications, Khanya College will launch the Closed Constructions Online Archive with over 8000 images, research documents and oral history interviews collected and produced since 2008. This will be a unique public resource for communities, researchers, activists and cultural practitioners looking for information on labour compounds and hostels in Gauteng. It will leave a lasting platform to build a public memory of the single-sex housing schemes established to segregate, control and exploit migrant workers for more than a century. It will be an invaluable reference for the immense impact the hostel system had on South African society and on the lives of millions of migrants from the region. The archive is planned to go live in 2012, so please check this space again.
The Workers Museum
The Working Class History Programme runs regular programmes at the Workers Museum in Newtown. Please read further to learn more about this exiting museum and heritage site for migrant labour.
The Workers Museum strives to keep the heritage of migrant workers of Southern Africa alive. Located in a former compound for Johannesburg's municipal workers, it represents a site of conscience for the rigorous control and exploitation that millions of migrant workers experienced during the predominance of the migrant labour system. Migrant labour was the key economic system of the Apartheid state up to 1994 and had been established since the turn of the 18th century. It shaped the social formation of South Africa and that of neighbouring countries in Southern Africa for generations. The Workers Museum reflects the exceptional significance of the migrant experience on family and cultural life, on all public service, domestic and industrial workers of the region.
Download the Workers Museum brochure and read more about this unique heritage