Murals to work their magic

2020-02-25 06:02
Residents from three blocks of flats in Salamander Road engage with the City of Cape Town’s department of arts and culture at a mural workshop.

Residents from three blocks of flats in Salamander Road engage with the City of Cape Town’s department of arts and culture at a mural workshop.

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An online resource for teachers, the Beacon Learning Centre, says there are three theories why prehistoric men might have painted on the walls of caves: to decorate their caves, to document their hunting trips or because the drawings were considered to possess magic.

If the artist could capture the image of the animal on a wall, perhaps they could capture it in a real-life hunt.

And isn’t that exactly what modern-day murals do?

Capture a community’s aspirations for the future with the hope that it will become a reality?

Most residents would agree that the Hangberg community can do with this kind of magic.

The City of Cape Town’s department of arts and culture has identified three blocks of flats on Salamander Road to serve as a canvas for inspirational artwork.

The mural pilot project must be implemented before the end of June and will be paid for out of ward 74’s allocation

Roberto Quintas, councillor for ward 74, says the murals’ purpose is to inspire pride in the community.

The murals will be co-designed by residents who live in the blocks.

“I’m very proud of the interactions so far. The first concept design took place a few weeks back. Arts and culture officials will present drafts to the community in the next few weeks,” Quintas said.

The workshop held earlier this month was attended by City officials, three block leaders and 30 residents (10 from each block with the prerequisite that they are unemployed).

Donna Jacobs, the block leader for Strandloper Court, thinks this is a brilliant initiative. “When the children play in Salamander Park and look up to our flats, the murals will have a positive impact. There were a lot of different ideas,” says Jacobs.

Another positive outcome is that 10 of the residents who attended have since been assigned to the City’s solid waste management department. According to Jacobs, for the next month, they will assist with community clean-ups in exchange for a stipend.

Quintas said the mural pilot project may be continued from ward 74’s allocations in the future, depending on the project’s success and its impact in the community.

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