27th August 2021 – The Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Siddeeq Railoun, the Executive Director of District 6 Museum (the Museum). FHR had the privilege of working briefly with Mr Railoun when he joined the Museum three months ago, while the Museum was concluding a book project funded by the FHR to mark the Museum’s 25th anniversary. The book that the FHR sponsored provided an overview of the Museum’s contribution to the field of memory as a human right, from different perspectives.
The book serves as a reflection on the Museum’s role as a space to preserve and reflect on memory, hope and recovery. The book also highlights the need for museum spaces which act as that nurture critical debate around contemporary realities, through ongoing community engagements. FHR remembers Mr Railoun’s efforts to preserve the history of all people in South Africa, and in particular to memorialize the unique and vibrant community that constituted the Museum before the forced removal by the Apartheid government. Mr Railoun experienced the pain of unfair discrimination first hand, as he was one of those forcibly removed by the apartheid government at that time. Although he had only recently been appointed Director, Mr Railoun will be remembered both as an educator and committed advocate for the Museum, where he played a vital role in the collection, preservation, interpretation and display of objects of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the study and education of the public.
The FHR extends its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Siddeeq Railoun.