On Thursday 28 January 2016, HRMC made a presentation to a group of survivors of the 1996 Christmas eve bomb blasts at the Breede River Municipality offices, outlining two memory work processes they were invited to participate in for the purposes of education and advocacy. This participant recruitment process was suggested at the meeting of senior Khulumani members in Zweletemba on Sunday 17 January 2016.

The meeting was held in the evening to accommodate those employed and after an in-depth conversation some survivors committed to the body mapping process, others to the autobiographical writing workshop that included drawings to illustrate their stories in shweshwe-covered scrapbooks, with a few wanting to participated in both workshops.

The 4-day body mapping workshop took place from 9 to 12 February 2016 in a small venue at the Zweletemba Community Centre with most of the participants drawn from Zweletemba. Participants included: Funeka Hlazo, Ester Cenga, Neliswa Busakwe, Emily Phapiso, Olga Maclingwane and Marius Amererra. Shirley Gunn facilitated the workshop, Zukiswa Puwana was the translator | administrator, Dathini Mzayiya assisted with artistic representations, with assistants Ramah Awad and Rachel Samuels from Stanford University’s BING programme interning at HRMC.

The 5-day autobiographical workshop from 7 to 11 March 2016 took place at the Blind Spot in the heart of Worcester, with the majority of survivors drawn from the coloured communities that included Dorothy Issel, Emily Phapiso, Ester Cenga, Emma Hermanus, Fatima Omardien, Fransiena Saal, Funeka Hlazo, Hajiera Ismail, Lizle Philander, Rushieda De Koker, Neliswa Busakwe and Olga Maclingwane. This workshop was facilitated by Shirley Gunn, Zukiswa Puwana was the translator | administrator, and Dathini Mzayiya provided creative assistance with illustrations.

A wrap-up meeting with participants was held at Klein Plasie Kibbutz on 21 March 2016. This meeting paved the way for HRMC to exhibit Breaking the Silence, including the Worcester memory work, at SAHA’s programme at Constitutional Museum Ramparts from April to May 2016 marking 20 years since the first TRC hearing titled The Battle Against Forgetting.

Memory work with Worcester Bomb blast survivors in 2016