Although the narratives gathered in 2017 were profound, we struggled with access to the greater community and artists networks. In 2018 we aimed to be more inclusive and revised our community engagement practice. After meeting with the local ward councillor and defining who the core users of the social cluster would be, we embarked on a new creative journey. This journey was different in its approach as the crew worked tirelessly in the field, moving from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, door to door and institution or organisation to public space. Each individual crew member extracted key moments and memories from their experiences and the experiences of the future users of the space. This was a successful system which incorporated multiple voices from the three wards in direct relation to the social cluster.
PENSIONERS DAY INTRODUCTION AT JAN HOFFMEYER SOUP KITCHEN
Our story telling session at the soup kitchen was aimed at listening to stories we have not heard. The soup kitchen fills with people from all walks of life, all races and all ages. The demographics are important, because despite everyone’s cultural differences they fight the same struggles everyday. Many spoke to us, but they do not want to be mentioned in a report or online. They are afraid of expressing themselves , and feel they may get into trouble for telling us about life in Brixton. The crime is a very serious issue, so much so, that it impacts the stories that are shared with us.
The storytelling session with the pensioners was insightful and gave us an in-depth look at a typical Saturday morning in Vrededorp. The few people who spoke to us were mostly passers-by and did not come there with an agenda. They just wanted to tell us a story and how they feel about the space they occupy.
FIETAS KIDS WORKSHOP WITH JAN HOFFMEYER SOUP KITCHEN
FIETAS FUN DAY WITH KIDS
The event was a community activation, which included storytelling and also acted as a learning process for the local kids. We had six teams who raced and they could only start the race if they got five questions correct about Fietas’ history and heritage. The winning team received an art pack and the title of knowing Fietas best. Each station supplied kids with the next clue along with snacks and juice. The younger kids stayed at the soup kitchen where we had a creative station that encouraged kids to talk about their surroundings. Later, the treasure hunt teams were asked to write imaginary postcards and share what they learnt from the race. The teams were all guided by a local resident who knew where to go and keep our crew safe. A guessing game. Creative crew members were responsible for assisting kids in the race, keeping them safe, and most importantly – listening to them and their stories. Overall feedback included kids saying they loved the race and learning new things about their community. The elders in the community were grateful for the experience, as it kept the kids “out of trouble” and taught them something about their home.
CREATIVE EXHANGE AND AUDITION
CROSBY SOCCER KIDS AND FAMILY CREATIVE DAY
Sport is a uniting force in this neighbourhood – so under the guidance of a local soccer coach and ward committee member we brought ‘’art’’ and ‘’sport’’ together.
THE SOMALIAN COMMUNITY
SOMALIAN COMMUNITY STORY TELLING SESSION 1
SOMALION COMMUNITY STORY TELLING SESSION 2
WOMEN AND CHILDREN STORY TELLING AND PATTERN MAKING
A rather unremarkable building in Mayfair houses the NGO the Somalian Community. This space is one of refuge and assistance to those who have often been forced to migrate to South Africa. The Somalian Community offers a number of services to the following migrants: Somalian, Malawian, Congolese, Turkish and Ethiopian. Given a multitude of cultural practices, we worked only with the women of these communities. Some have been in Mayfair for over 10 years and others only arrived a few months ago. Our workshops were interpreted by local field worker Fartuna. After a short while the shyness and language barrier evaporated and the creative process became a mode of communication, to the point where we no longer needed a local facilitator. We were privileged to experience a sharing of personal stories, good, bad and ugly, stories of strength and perseverance and ultimately educated by these amazing women and there love of their culture, fashion and pride in their food and countries where they come from.
JOZI WALKS: FIETAS
A WALK THROUGH FIETAS WITH NTATE
During the tour of Fietas and Ntate’s personal story about growing up and spending most his life in the area, we learned a lot about the history of Fietas.
Little Mogadishu is a space that takes up three blocks of Mayfair going down Eight Avenue. There you will find Somali owned shops and restaurants offering a variety of goods and services from clothing, furniture, spicy aromas to money transfer services. Small business are all crammed up on those blocks where competition seems stiff but friendly.
FORDSBURG NIGHT MARKET
Fordsburg market is a busy place of commerce and trade related activities. Bollywood films, jewellery clothes, incenses and spices are just a few things you can get. However the experience of being there also speaks of a social and lifestyle outlet for its patrons and the immediate community it serves. The documentary crew visited the market on a Friday and after getting there just a little before sundown, we watched in amazement as the market came alive in the night-time.
TODLERS DEN BODY MAPPING WORKSHOP
The Toddler’s Den workshop was aimed at creating a fun, expressive, creative exercise for the kids. We traced their bodies onto paper and they then decorated their body maps by painting and drawing inside and around the outlines. The smaller children did the exercise with their hands and the older kids used their full bodies to complete the exercise.
ROVING BANTU CREATIVE WORKSHOPS
The goal of the workshops was to conceptually work with the local artists to generate ideas, illustrations and collages that could be appropriate for design translation for the urban upgrade in the area. The artists mostly worked on elements of design suitable for murals and 2D applications. The workshops took place at the Roving Bantu Kitchen over a four day period.