Will pedestrians stop and listen? Will questions be asked? What if the sun will burn too hot?
Our first workshop took place the 15th of March at 11 am only 13 hours after the container’s arrival. Rizqah – our good soul from the College of Cape Town – didn’t stop mocking us on the extremely high stresslevel, but an hour before the kick-off there was still so much to do: hectic wall painting, styrofoam for the wish tree everywhere and still no chairs in sight.
But at 10.58 o’clock it was all set in place. We had our little urban farm outside the container, Alma’s pom-pons hang in the trees and the CORE collective got ready for the spray paint of the container. The first participants started arriving!
The discussion on transport was vivid and inspiring. Our first speaker, Marco Morgan from the National Skate Collective, is a lobbyist for the rights of skaters in Cape Town. The South African law says that it is forbidden to skate in public space, besides where it is explicitly allowed. That means the only place to skate legally in Cape Town is at the Sea Promenade in Sea Point. Marco sees skating as a form of transport and fights against the repression by the authorities. Many skaters are from the Cape Flats. 20sk8, for example, describe themselves as a brotherhood formed through skateboarding, who are at war against gangsterism and drugs. Marco wants to give them a voice. He is convinced that a collective is more determined than an individual. His effort for skateboarders is very impressive. You can hear and feel how passionate he works on a new perspective for young Capetonians.
Next was a young entrepreneur from the townships. Loyiso from Ubuntu – Khayelitsha on Bikes organises bike tours through Khayelitsha. He wants to stop tourists from coming to the townships in vans with tinted windows, shooting pictures with tele objectives and behaving like visiting a zoo. His goal is to reduce the gap between visitors and township residents. His input was very authentic and convincing and the first question of the audience was how to book such a tour.
While the speakers were developing their arguments, an info graphic arose at the container wall. After a discussion with the audience, Catharina turned up the music and the participants started to design the container, their ideas and interactions. The weather was perfectly warm with 24°C and the atmosphere was as we had hoped for: friendly, creative and productive. We could observe the homeless crew from the corridor discovering their passion for spinach and skateboarding, kids learned how to spray paint without fainting by the toxic steams and everywhere little groups continued discussing.
We can conclude: This space is perfect for outdoor interventions. The artistic approach closes gaps as Ubuntu’s bicycles do in townships. We loved to see how people seem to enjoy to express themselves in different ways.