Monday, February 28, 2011

...and building begins

We are building up our Cardboard Monument structure at Funda Centre, and then transporting it in pieces to the Walter Sisulu Square. From Tuesday, 1 March on we will be based at Walter Sisulu square if you would like to come by and help build.

Friday, February 11, 2011

From research to production!

At the beginning of February Erik Hopmans and Alex O'Donoghue arrived to join the Cardboard Monument team. Erik will be working on construction of the monument. He is an experienced theatre designer. Alex is our valuable planner and co-ordinator of logistics for the 4 day event in March, we are very happy to welcome them. The second week of February marks the stage of the project in which research ideas are consolidated and converted into artistic interventions. Soon we will post the artistic direction of each participant of the project on our "artists" page.

Each artist has chosen a specific direction of investigation, and curated his/ her own investigation to support ideas. So far we have an exciting combination: including a "fake market seller" selling linocut prints of unseen Kliptown. A giant sculpture coin designed to commemorate Kliptown's  heroine, Charlotte Maxete, and a market place variation of the Freedom Charter. There will also be documentation of our process as well as a video installation piece to see inside our outdoor exhibition. We are now working in preparation for the events programme in March- a more detailed update will follow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stakeholder meeting

On 9 February we held a stakeholder meeting at the Soweto Hotel, as an update for all involved parties in the project. Present were: TK, from Sky Youth group, Mxolisi and Pops from Kliptown artist collective post77, Oom Bolo Kliptown elder, Charles, Tumelo, and Ezekiel from Funda and Masentle from the Soweto Hotel. We also have the opportunity to be interviewed by Lebo from Urban news newspaper, a weekly Soweto newspaper- hopefully we will feature this week.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Between 1 January and 3 February 2011, we explored the streets of Kliptown, gathering useful information to inform our project in development. Mzi, Teboho and Mzie G. took on the role of interviewers for these personal inquiries, which we made inside the homes of Kliptown residents, or using the space of Oom Bolo's museum. We realised that there are many diverse groups of people living in the area, who all relate to the idea of the Walter Sisulu square monument and Kliptown as their home in many different ways.

Beacon Road area- former San Souci surrounds

In this area Mzie took the lead for most interviews we conducted,  with residents currently living in the surrounds of the previously very popular Sans Souci movie theatre. The movie theatre was the most vibrant social hang-out in the area between the 1960s and early 1990's. It was wonderful to see the happy memories which Sans Souci brought, as well as the stories of gangs who existed during Sans Souci's prime. Their image was influenced by the American movies seen at Sans Souci.

Kliptown squatter camp (across the railway track- opposite Walter Sisulu square)

Kliptown squatter camp, the oldest part of Kliptown, was established in 1904, we heard stories about the conditions in which the people are currently living here. The serious lack of sanitation and facilities makes it very diffiucult to live normally here. Many young people feel that there is not much hope- and feel frustrated about their area being turned into a tourist attraction. Orpheus, a Kliptown elder, told us that he feels frustrated when he eats his breakfast, and tourists are taking photos from the highway to document a typical slum.

The Market Place on Walter Sisulu square

The market place on Walter Sisulu square has its origins in the early 1900's when this part of town was established as a market hub, for the non- white community in Soweto. Up until before the monument was built, the area was available for everybody to use- anybody could bring his wares and try and tell to the community. Today the market is regulated. Hawkers need to pay rent or otherwise sell illegally. There are also strict rules related to where selling may happen, and when these are not obeyed, the Metro regional police often are seen confiscating the market sellers goods. Some market sellers, selling cabbages, toys and second hand clothes have been there since the early 1950's.