Design of the week: The spirit of the tokoloshe

2014-11-02 15:00

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Tokolos Stencils first caught my eye during the second anniversary of the Marikana uprising.

Their striking stencil of Mambush, the “Man in the Green Blanket”, with the words, ‘Remember Marikana’ and ‘Ramaphosa’ emblazoned above it began appearing on city walls, billboards and street kerbs.

Tokolos is a collective of anonymous graffiti artists that uses the art form to raise questions about inequality, injustice and government’s failings. It urges you to download your own stencil and get involved, even offering a “how-to” on tracing, cutting out and spray-painting the stencil.

Their website states “to terrorise the powers that be, the tokoloshe emerges from obscurity.

It reminds South Africans, young and old, that freedom and justice remain elusive unless we are willing to fight for it”. Tokolos is also behind the Dehumanisation Zone graffiti you might have seen popping up around Cape Town.

The collective calls the Langa Temporary Relocation Area – the area Langa township residents were relocated to, to make way for an N2 Gateway project – a “dumping zone”, and the stencils say as much.

Check out this important collective on tokolosstencils.tumblr.com or by searching for Tokolos Stencil Collective on Facebook. May the Tokolos be with you

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