Cape Town, Monday, 13 February 2023 – “Bergsig” is a documentary film about the problematic “coloured” identity in South Africa and the lasting legacies of apartheid on young people in the country. The documentary is named after a township area created for “coloured” people in Calitzdorp and attempts- through film- to combat the misrepresentation and erasure of “coloured” people from the history of the town.
Under the Group Areas Act of 1950, all town centers in rural South Africa were declared whites-only areas. Across South Africa, “coloured” and black people living in town centers were forcefully removed from their homes and placed in areas hidden away from the public face of the town.
While significant progress has been made after the first democratic elections in 1994, the apartheid spatial conditions in rural towns, like Calitzdorp, persist and are exacerbated by worsening socio-economic realities. Still today, white people live in the town center comfortably close to the conveniences of public facilities and amenities, while “coloured” people make homes out of spaces that are under-resourced, under-serviced, and unsafe. In Calitzdorp, the apartheid socio-economic vision for black, “coloured”, and white people is palpable in its conspicuousness.
In 2022, The Youth Identity project of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, held a four-part dialogue series on “coloured identity and woundedness” as understood by young people in the community. The film is a visual culmination of some of the difficult conversations that were had and captures the stories, experiences, and lives of young people in Bergsig, Calitzdorp.
This film uncovers how young people navigate their daily lives in a country with so few opportunities for the youth. Young people in South Africa report feeling abandoned, alone, and afraid that they do not have a future in South Africa. This film is an honest assessment of the “Coloured” born free generation in Bergsig, Calitzdorp.
“Bergsig” is produced by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, in partnership with Abrasive Media, and will be screened on 24 February 2023 in Calitzdorp. It will be followed by a questioning and answering conversation. Members of the media and the community are invited to join this screening.
Institute for Justice and Reconciliation