The museum came into being as a vehicle for advocating social justice, as a space for reflection, and as an institution for challenging the half-truths which propped up the history of South Africa.
As an independent space where the forgotten understandings of the past are resuscitated, and where different interpretations of that past are facilitated through its collections, exhibitions and education programmes. the museum is committed to telling the stories of forced removals and assisting in the reconstitution of the community of District Six and Cape Town by drawing on a heritage of non-racialism, non-sexism, anti-class discrimination and the encouragement of debate.
In addition to being a space for ex-residents to gather, it also serves to tell the story of District Six to visitors from near and far. It has been designed so that a visitor can wander in from off the street and go on a self-guided tour. If preferred, a walk through the museum with an ex-resident storyteller can be arranged.
The museum is the perfect extension of the classroom and also welcomes school groups. Oral testimonies, documentaries, audiovisual materials, scavenger hunts and role plays all form part of the repertoire of experiences offered by the museum.