Master’s Thesis Project stems from observing and documenting at close range (and researching historically) a seemingly impermeable cycle of occupation, violence and
abandonment within the inner-city, whose roots stretch back over the past 130 years. The cycle has culminated, at the present time, in the ‘writing off’ of a number of
inner-city buildings as ‘bad buildings’ not fit for habitation or study and yet, remains an epidemic that threatens to destabilise so many South African cities.
However, this is certainly not only a South African problem. In January 2018 the world’s population was 7.6 billion; this number will increase to 11.2 billion by 2100. The
world’s urbanised population was 30% in 1950, 50% in 2014, and is projected to be 70% in 2050. Approximately 1 in 6 of the world’s population currently lives in ‘slums’
and, similarly, that number will increase to 1 in 3 by 2025. It is clear that our cities are now critical considerations.
living in 1305 of these buildings means that a total population of anywhere between 2-to-800 thousand people are affected, and living in critical conditions below UN
no electricity, no toilets, no refuse removal, one water pipe, two storeys flooded with water, three storeys high of trash–and almost 250 inhabitants. It tracked alarming
statistics; delved into the murky relationship between those on the first rungs of urbanisation and those who’ve slipped below. Therefore, spaces like ‘Dark City’ required
an alternative means of representation—achieved by engaging contributors in fine art, photography, film, research and sociology and using participative and collaborative
techniques with the inhabitants of ‘Dark City’ to determine what design, representation and architecture are in these spaces and places.
the research, findings, experiences, emotions, harsh realities and hazardous environments of the building ‘Dark City’—but particularly the lives of the people that live
there. The collection of works were curated by Hariwe and were illustrated and composed in several visual art media. This included documentation, drawing, conceptual
art, installation art, historical drawing, photography, cinematography, video art- and was showcased by the three primary project contributors : Hari(we), Jono Wood and
which were researched for approximately three years. During this time, I worked with many different people from all over Africa, many different languages, backgrounds,
journeys, ages, socio-economic statuses, political agendas, races, experiences of xenophobia and violence, and so on. This personal pliability allowed me to connect with
many different cultures and people – in a concentrated context.