The Cape Crafts and Design Institute in Cape Town South Africa, is an exceptional organization involved in the development of the crafts and design sector of the Western Cape.  Their popular pop-up shop in the East City is provides a valuable space for emerging designers and product makers to display and sell their products, network with other design entrepreneurs and meet local buyers.  The shop is based in the building housing their headquarter and key educational facilities.  The East City itself has a range of development initiatives, emerging creative industry businesses and social entrepreneurs. .  

The Cape Crafts and Design Institute in Cape Town South Africa, is an exceptional organization involved in the development of the crafts and design sector of the Western Cape.  Their popular pop-up shop in the East City is provides a valuable space for emerging designers and product makers to display and sell their products, network with other design entrepreneurs and meet local buyers.  The shop is based in the building housing their headquarter and key educational facilities.  The East City itself has a range of development initiatives, emerging creative industry businesses and social entrepreneurs.

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Leisure Time: An art work by Donovan Ward for Returning the Gaze, a public art intervention in Cape Town in 2000

Leisure Time: An art work by Donovan Ward for Returning the Gaze, a public art intervention in Cape Town in 2000

  • Charles Landry and Phil Woods in their book The Intercultural City (2007) describe Culture as the representation of or values and aspirations, traditions and shared memories, the ways we develop, receive and transmit these, and the ways of life they produce... Therefore if sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" then culture matters because it is a resource we that we inherit from our family and pass onto our children.  Culture is thus our past, present and our future.  
     
  • Cities are now the main engines of human endeavor – with both positive and negative impacts for the planet and its inhabitants. As of 2014 more people now live in cities than not. Cities are the new drivers of the global economy and have become key agents of change and of oppression. The globe faces significant challenges to a sustainable planet on many levels from food security, energy, water conservation, global warming, waste management, human rights, "social cohesion”, economic sustainability amongst others. The role of cities in addressing these challenges is an important one.  But cities are not just the state, and culture is not something passive and static.  As citizens we have the right to act on our agency, both to hold the state accountability, and, on our own accord, to use our creativity and innovation to make a change. 
performance in Langa, Cape Town   

performance in Langa, Cape Town 

 

  • Cities in the global south are growing faster than those in the north and are the ones with the greatest challenges: crumbling infrastructure, political shifts, poverty and violence. But there is  heightened ingenuity in adverse conditions as humankind pits back to survive and thrive. Its here that creative people are valuable as they bring with them the ability to inspire, invigorate and  connect.  They help us re-imagine a better place into being.  How do we work more with this to the ends of social justice?
     
  • The blog is interested in exploring projects and individuals that are responding to their grounded context through culture.   It is interested in cultural practitioners who are working at the coal face of societal change - networked individuals, arts projects, collectives and spaces.   What change do they inspire through their work and what are their challenges and impacts in doing so?   Can policies respond more appropriately to the ground and if so how?  How do we understand our world better through our arts and culture?  What is the role of our public sector in this?  How can citizens make an impact in improving their world through creativity?   These are crucial question for sustainability, once we realize the power of culture as a force for social change. 

All photography on this site is © Zayd Minty, unless indicated otherwise