Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Municipality saves the day ahead of local elections

We thought we were doomed! Dozens of mini dumpsites throughout the hood a few days ahead of the launch and no TLB to help us as promised by Local Municipality. We rented out a TLB and tip truck to clean up the really bad space just behind the Old Butchery and just as we were running behind schedule, in came the help. Within hours there was a second TLB and two other tip-trucks. By the end of the day the whole area was cleared. Within two days ALL the small areas that were used for dumping were cleared and the tall grass around the Old Butchery was cut and all litter cleared. This was by far the most visually fulfilling moment for me during the project, even more so than seeing the complete artworks. It has taken years for our community to look this clean again and it surely means progress 

Dlala INDIMA ePhakamisa

Meghan Judge is also part of “2010 Reasons To Live in a Small Town” and gave us an uplifting visit ahead of our Launch held on the 21st March. Here are some shots of her setting up various activities for the day, including a Human Rights monument for kids to write on comprising of the drums earlier used for glass collection. Check out her blog on: http://meagainjudge.wordpress.com/ 

Our own “Sea-Eye”

Mak1one soon returned to CPT and the next goal was to create a Corporate Identity that would carry through the general attitude of the campaign to be used on t-shirts, pole banners, posters, letterheads, invitations and such. Great experience running a vote to see which graphic was preferred.  The main active group of about 40people that have been part of Dlala Indima, consisting of various individuals from the clean up team, local contributors, volunteers, neighbors who helped out everyday and the local artists who have taken part will each get a prized personal t-shirt. This has been great in solidifying the group and moving forward in numbers. 


Here is our poster and flyer for the launch held on March21. There were 2 attractions on the day. The opening of the space and performances by local acts. We have been lucky to be blessed by local photographer Terrence Mtola. He came in over a period of two days and combined a small exhibit called “Ekuhlaleni”(local life) that showcases the life of the locals, which exhibited on the day. Check out his site: www.tabimages.co.za. 

The Outreach Part2

We did a wall in the main coloured neighborhood around K.W. T called Breidbach or “Breities” in trying to reach out and draw connections with other communities that could join the campaign. We received a call soon afterwards from a local preacher who complained the wall promoted “Satanism”. He was really struck for words however when we asked why members of his congregation that walked past with their children applauded, along with a local artist/sign writer who is a senior member in the community. This type of stuff happens ALL the time. Fortunately Breidbach soon showed their support and are part of our Launch on the 21March.  

Kindergarten Graffiti Bombs

This was one of the most exciting activities for me during the project.

I came in during the day to speak to the head teacher/caretaker in the Crèche; we discussed possible approaches for artwork and what her ideas were on what she considers encouraging artworks for toddlers. Mak1one was now very close to the end of his stay and we started working at night using the light and generator again. So we decided we would make an interesting addition to our DVD footage by filming us painting the crèche by night in typical graffiti style. We still had groups of locals joining in, sometimes asking us why we chose to work at night, which meant we had to explain the stigma we are trying to break by doing something the kids would enjoy. By 3am Mak1one had finished a piece and a few characters on the front wall of the crèche with the name legible for all to see, I painted the side storage area in bold colours using a paint-stick and rollers also used when bombing. We then came in to take footage of the surrounds during the next morning to see the surprises on the faces of the little ones. Classic stuff. Righteous Graffiti Bombing! 

The Bus Shelter Helter Skelter

We have built a really close unit between the core team, having spent over a month working on the main spaces. Whenever we would be painting the bus shelters and further buildings where we would meet other groups of the community, there would be so much commotion that we sometimes had to just wait for it to subside. We have also been capturing video footage for a DVD showcasing the project, featuring local artists. Dlala Indima has really spread like wildfire and the discourse that it has created has been very uplifting. I must say, in my teens growing up in Phakamisa I never imagined such an interest in the creative arts, recycled crafts and most recently performance art genres.  The nature of how people have gotten involved has also sparked challenging debates about self-sustainability and new ideas for local entrepreneurs.  

Fikelephi SuperMarket

Painting the Old Fikelephi SuperMarket next door to the Old Butchery has been a great experience. The building is situated right next to a taxi stop so there is a mix of people walking past and enquiring. This building has also been great to paint because it was always regarded as the graffiti wall in the hood, so seeing this “renovation/continuation” was a good point of departure in responding to questions.  I decided to have the first example of real letter-style graffiti on this building. I remember the issue of a “reversal of roles” in the workshop, where I received feedback that it would be best not to change our stance in enlightening Phakamisa about real graffiti art in the way we approach our style.

This has meant leaving a few details to the creativity of the viewer when painting the semi-wildstyle Dlala Indima piece that hugs the corner of the building. It was really comforting to see that most people have taken an eye to letter-forms and “simplifying” graffiti would have been a) a bit patronizing for the eager groups of youth who love to decipher different possible meanings and shapes and b) a bit boring aesthetically. It was also a good challenge seeing how best to balance the two approaches, as I later painted a very legible san-serif version behind the building that I will complete by adding a character and simple background effects. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hermon - Domino Effect - The Fanwalk

These first four photographs are the only ones that we have of the original fanwalk. By the Monday morning after the tournament, 2 out of 17 were missing/stolen - we hope that they are on show in some-one's house and that they are enjoying them!

This does show us though that the community find some meaning in them.

So, the Monday morning, with Doons and Lientjie, we screwed them all back up, photographed them and then took them down again. The working group/committee are determined that we protect them and do not leave them up on display. At the moment they are stored in the container on the sports field.

The photographs are mounted onto chromadek - they are heavy and hard. Yet people have tried to pull them off, bending them in the process.

Doons re-screwing them all on. Coke printed these photographic boards for us and we were worried about the placing of their branding, but they were subtle and respectful, thank you to Romeo of coke in Paarl, who organised this for us.

Our next challenge is how to share and show the photographs/fanwalk with the community.

They have shown us that they find them interesting. In a few weeks we will co-ordinate a showing of the documentary that Cathy Winter is busy editing - then at the same time show the photographs. Hermon is so small that there is not a community hall, only a church hall, which is difficult to use as a permanent space.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hermon Domino Tournament

The tournament has taken some time to digest and put together.
It was a success for the community and there is much talk and desires for it to be repeated again next year. We have all learnt a huge amount during the process.

The Domino Toppling started first thing in the morning - it took all day.

Doons tacking white paper strips onto palettes to give the idea of 'dominos', black and white. As this happening turned out in the end, this was not necessary.

In the meantime a 100 balloons were being blown up in two houses.

Rike helping to tie up balloons.

Then the Domino Toppling.
We put them in piles of 10 on the road.

Stood them up - they fell down
So, we tried them like this......

They all toppled and fell...
So we lay them like this...
And an even better plan developed - each palette had to be held up by a community member and everyone ran after them - the toppling was noisy and created an exciting although slightly dangerous energy.

See Lisa Perold's cell phone video footage:

The Sportsforum who had initially given us such a hard time, were fantastic in their support and organisation. They took over the running of the actual playing of dominos.

The registration table was packed all afternoon.

Special tablecloths for the domino players.

The MC Bernie Louw who has been involved in the project from the beginning.
The Domino Dancers.

'Ghoemma' - the mystery band - beautiful voices.

'Michael Jackson'

Dorothee's pic of the trophies and prizes.

Bernie with his microphone was an energy that did not stop for the whole tournament, which lasted for 4 hours.
Doons found time to play in between his busy day.