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Public Art and the Power of Place

22 July, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 23 July, 2016 @ 3:00 pm SAST

start again the new road at dawn.
yesterday’s road has led
to yesterday’s destination.
today is a new chaos.
a new journey. a new city.
needing new paths. and new standards

Ben Okri – The Ruin and The Forest

Cape Town remains stubbornly segregated, with a large portion of the population living in undesirable conditions. Access to resources is still skewed towards the formal art market based in the City Bowl. Despite this, there are numerous people engaging in critical and creative ways of re-articulating the potential of the city through art. Increasingly, public-facing art is playing a central role in imagining a free, inspired and inclusive reality.

Public Art and the Power of Place, initiated by the African Centre for Cities at UCT, with support from the National Lotteries Commission, emerged as an experiment in finding new ways of representing and interconnecting with socio-political urban issues in Cape Town. It involved supporting seven public art projects in Cape Town’s townships in 2015. From Khayelitsha to Bonteheuwel, optimistic and determined individuals explored the significance and impossibilities of place outside the City Bowl.

The ACC is excited to invite you to the closing event of the project at the Cape Town Library (Corner Darling and Parade Streets), where the stories and reflections of these projects will be used to ignite an open and constructive conversation about the present and the future of public art within the context of Cape Town. Through dialogue, workshops and an archival exhibition the two-day intervention builds a platform for a collective exploration of publicness.

An African Centre for Cities project with guest curators Valeria Geselev and Naz Saldulker. See the attached programme, check out the Facebook event or contact powerofplace@uct.ac.za for more details.





The NLC relies on funds from the proceeds of the National Lottery. The Lotteries Act guides the way in which NLC funding may be allocated. The intention of NLC funding is to make a difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially those more vulnerable and to improve the sustainability of the beneficiary organisations. Available funds are distributed to registered and qualifying non-profit organisations in the fields of charities; arts, culture and national heritage; and sport and recreation. By placing its emphasis on areas of greatest need and potential, the NLC contributes to South Africa’s development.


22 July, 2016 @ 1:00 pm SAST
23 July, 2016 @ 3:00 pm SAST
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Cape Town Library
Cnr Parade and Darling Streets
Cape Town,
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