Kasi creatives go for “instawalks”

2015-09-24 06:00


The group of creatives from the townships are localising social media activity called Instawalks. 

PHOTO: 
Sthembele Junior

The group of creatives from the townships are localising social media activity called Instawalks. PHOTO: Sthembele Junior

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A concept that began life as a curious exercise to bring a social media activity called an Instawalk to the townships has grown into a popular movement.

An instawalk is when a group of people gather to explore a place, while documenting their experiences with photos, using Instagram, which is a smartphone app.

The township version of this activity was aptly titled Kasi Instawalk and is more than just an activity.

The project was started by photographer Mawande Manez Sobethwa, a 2014 iPhonegraphy finalist, has grown to be a platform for township clothing brands, designers, photographers and models to meet and spark collaborations.

Its growth has also gained an interest from the BBC’s The Travel Show, which will be capturing the event in October.

The Travel Show, broadcast on BBC2, BBC World New and BBC.com is available in more than 200 countries and territories, and in 380 million households.

Sobethwa told City Vision that this will be the perfect opopportunity for local creatives to showcase their work on a bigger platform.

“A big opportunity to start telling a positive story about South African townships and the work of young people,” he said.

Sobethwa said that one of the biggest objectives for starting the project was to change the perception of the townships.

“A lot of times our streets are perceived to be run by gangs and violence and we mainly see images of poverty and depression among residents. We felt the need to paint a different picture, take ownership of streets, and through each image build a positive outlook of our townships,” he said.

It started with the first instawalk in Khayelitsha in June 2014.

They have since then consistently walked almost each month to various townships across the province.

Sobethwa says that one doesn’t have to be a creative to take part in the walks.

“It’s open to anyone really but we do have a core group of photographers and participants who have taken part in most walks. We have seen a lot of growth in the number of participants, but on also the quality of the work,” he said.

He said that despite the media attention, their biggest achievement was connecting the creatives together and forging working relationships.

“We’ve opened up to collaborate with other local creatives to help promote each other to grow. Many young and aspiring models need portfolio shots, young photographers need portfolio work and young designers and brands need style guides and as the Kasi Instawalk, brand we want to expand our reach and have content to exhibit on our existing and future platforms. And through working closely together we help everyone grow,” he added.

You can find the Kasi Instawalk crew on their Facebook Page Kasiinstawalks

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