Art on walls lift spirits

2017-07-04 16:07
A mural in Hangberg is designed to promote self-worth among the youth.

A mural in Hangberg is designed to promote self-worth among the youth.

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A Hangberg building will come to life through mural art as a meditation on healing, and an affirmation of positivity and hope, most importantly among the youth.

It is the brainchild of visual artist Imraan Christian from Zeekoevlei, who believes there is more that a community can talk about than crime and gangs. His wish is to instil hope and self-worth among the youth.

To start the #HealOurHome project, an 8.5m x 5m mural, a collaboration with the Harvest Youth Project in Hangberg, was done last week.

It was sponsored by Artlab.

Having travelled far and wide Christian got his inspiration after a trip to Berlin recently.

“In recent times we have seen a stark increase in gangsterism and violence against women and children, and #HealOurHome is a direct response to that by building our own army and affirming the idea that we, the youth, are all artists, and it’s time to tell our own stories now,” says Christian.

Hangberg will be used as a pilot space and Christian says about 11 murals will be done around the area.

“Hangberg is a special place. There people have a good fighting spirit. I think it is one of the areas where crime, drugs and gangs have not taken over the community and robbed it of all it’s worth.

“I believe the art will bring some positivity and it’s a call of action to the community as well as individuals to address what we want to give, teach or pass on to the next generation,” he says.

“This is to help the youth see themselves differently in the imagery. This is to uplift the community and to transform them for the better through street art. Most of the artwork is in galleries and most people here can’t even afford to go there. This is to bring about hope and change to them.”

The images will be designed to spark a conversation on what can be done to “heal our home, no matter how small or big”, he says.

“It is about taking the power away from the false narrative reducing coloured people to a homogenous group of gangsters. The truth is that we are so much more; we are the original storytellers of this land, and once we begin the process of healing, we will begin remembering who we are.”

Christian is calling on businesses to sponsor one or more murals.

For more information, email Imraan Christian at imraan@imraanchristian.com.

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