March 14, 2012

Wednesday's Window to the World: Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa

Graffiti on the Mew Way bridge, taken from my car as I was driving into Khayelitsha, Cape Town where I have been volunteering at Baphumelele Children’s Home  - Torie Meyer, 2011

The graffiti was done by Faith47 - a graffiti artist from Cape Town who grew up during the Apartheid regime. The background of political activism during Apartheid has inspired Faith47 to embark on a series of large-scale works across South Africa, featuring statements from the Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter was written in 1955 by thousands of South African anti-apartheid activists working together fighting the system. At the time the Charter was banned, but after apartheid ended, it formed the basis of the country's constitution. Her work has even made waves in the international street art scene. A Berlin-based publisher has just released a book profiling her work. Armed with spray cans, tins of paint and paint brushes, Faith47 has written statements from the Freedom Charter across the country...on walls, pavements, and on the bridge leading into the Khayelitsha township, one of the poorest in Cape Town with over a million people. Of this particular work, Faith47 said “I wanted to highlight the inequalities, and install the feeling that it hasn't happened yet – people are quite aware that they are not all sharing in the country’s wealth”.

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