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street art

Bird mural on the wall of Paterson Park pool

The Birds of Paterson Park

Last week I participated in a behind-the-scenes tour of historic Paterson Park, on the border of Norwood and Orange Grove, to check out the public art projects in progress there. The park is undergoing a huge renovation, expected to finish in the next few months. Paterson Park’s art installations are part of Art My Jozi, an initiative implemented by the Trinity Session and the Johannesburg Development Agency. Art My Jozi also spearheaded the S-bend mural project on Louis Botha Avenue, which I blogged about last year. I’ve always been intrigued by the Norwood/Orange Grove area — it’s the Joburg neighborhood I find most similar to Melville, where I live — and I’d been eyeing the Paterson Park redevelopment for months. It felt great to get out of the house and visit this city project that is still going full-steam ahead, while so many other fun things are indefinitely stalled. I explored the park with Laurice Taitz from Johannesburg in Your Pocket and Tariro Moyo, technical project manager and our guide from the Trinity Session. Like all the Art My Jozi projects, the Paterson Park art installations were conceived through community participation and consensus. The works revolve around the themes of […]

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Mark1 Mandela street art piece

Street Art and Cape Town’s District Six

Last month I spent a couple of days in Cape Town on either end of my weeklong stay in Stellenbosch. I was reminded yet again of what a lovely city Cape Town is. At some point I really need to stay for longer than three days at a time. I’m a Joburg girl, now and forever. But I must confess Cape Town is really freaking beautiful. I managed to do quite a few cool things during my short time in Cape Town, the best of which was a street art tour in District Six and surrounding areas with Juma’s Tours. The History of District Six The history of District Six is tragic and makes no sense, except in the non-sensical context of apartheid South Africa. Similar to Sophiatown in Joburg, District Six was a culturally vibrant area — located close to the center of Cape Town — populated by mostly non-white South Africans of various races. Following the Group Areas Act (enacted in various forms in 1950, 1957, and 1966), which legally mandated South Africa’s racial groups to live separately, the apartheid government forcibly removed District Six’s 60,000 residents to the Cape Flats and other townships during the 1970s. Of all the enraging aspects of apartheid, there […]

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