Putting on a good face: Public wall of portrait photos showcases Capetonian 'changemakers'

Generation Next aims to use public art to unite Capetonians and inspire efforts to uplift under-resourced communities
Generation Next aims to use public art to unite Capetonians and inspire efforts to uplift under-resourced communities

A restaurant owner, a gardener, a beer brewer, and a yoga instructor are some of the faces adorning the wall at Cape Town Central Station. While it might seem like an unlikely collection, each of the portraits reflects a Capetonian working to make a positive change in the city.

The photographic display, titled "Generation Next", aims to use public art to unite Capetonians and inspire efforts to uplift under-resourced communities. The wall of portrait photos features a variety of locals, from different walks of life, who are working towards improving the city in some way.

Ludovic Baussan, who initiated project, says: "This story of Generation Next is about talented entrepreneurs, artists, leaders, joining forces from all horizons to shape the future of Cape Town for the better, regardless of their culture, their privileges, their background or colour."

The public art installation was inspired by an international project, INSIDE OUT, run by French photographer JR. The global participatory art project is inspired by JR’s large-format street portraits pasted in public spaces. 

Baussan says Generation Next was born out of glaring inequalities still visible in Cape Town, three decades after the end of apartheid.

Generation Next was born out of glaring inequaliti

"In the Mother City especially, racial and social divides still strike as very real. In such a context, we believe it is important to speak about the matters that unite Capetonians, rather than the ones that divide them," he says. 

"The project wants to highlight that it is not necessary to have a lot of money to have a strong impact on society, promote values and ideals, and contribute to positive change."

The display has been installed to coincide with Mandela Day activities at the train station and will run until August 30. Information on the "changemakers" featured in the display, and their work, is available on www.generationnextproject.info.

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