Community Based Initiatives

Masihambisane

The footpath from Umkhumbane (Cato Manor) to Warwick Junction (Durban inner-city) is traversed by approximately 7000 people daily, connecting the township to the place of work and transport in the city.  The footpath for the most part is along King Dinuzulu road along the southern side of the freeway.   It is a harsh exposed footpath that is not acknowledged in any formal way along its entire length as a mobility route by city authorities, there is limited lighting, limited walkway space, poor surfaces, congested crossing points, no pick up points or ablutions.   

This route is however acknowledged by the NPO, dala: art and architecture for social change, who have engaged this space and the people who use it (inhabitants and traders) for 14 years.  Working with dala (Doung Jahangeer) and lecturers in Drama (Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer) and Architecture (Bridget Horner), Masters 1 Architecture Students and Applied Theatre students,  conceptualised creative interventions built and performative, to highlight the significance of the route and the daily practises that occur along it.   The interventions highlighted the lack of public amenities and encouraged people to make use of the ‘new’ in situ amenities the students had provided.  The day proved to be a highly successful engagement exercise with the transient and fixed community as well as an insightful learning exercise for the students who engaged directly with the people who traverse the space through their daily practice.

This project  further expands the research findings from the first inter-disciplinary study undertaken in 2014 between architecture and drama and performance studies to conscientise students to ‘other’ ways of learning.  This project is supported by the SANTAM and Blue Skies grant.


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