The Slave Calendar – David Prior



The Iziko Slave Lodge museum in Cape Town strives to keep alive the memory of the over 71,000 slaves who were brought to Cape Town between 1653 and 1856. Tragically, South Africans have forgotten their connection to these innocent men and women who were stripped of everything — even their names.



Considered as property, thousands of slaves were arbitrarily renamed after the calendar month in which they arrived. In partnership with the Slave Museum, we used this little known fact to create a physical calendar that holds the portraiture and true stories of hope as told by the living descendants who still carry each calendar month surname, re-connecting new generations of South Africans with a past they have all but lost.



The Slave Calendar has recently received the official endorsement of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his foundation, and will be transformed into an on-going exhibit at the Iziko Slave Lodge museum from September 2016.

As we pen this, it is set to appear as a supplement in Cape Town’s biggest newspaper, will have an official launch function with invitees including the Archbishop Tutu, apartheid activist Albie Sachs, the press, and the extended families of those featured, and has already raised a wrongly-neglected history into everyday South African conversation.