A new ‘partici-paintary’ public mural is underway in the Three Anchor Bay Slipway which highlights the role of nature and youth for a thriving city. The collaborative mural will contain features that have surfaced during a series of engagement sessions linked to an ongoing project entitled Youth Visions in a Changing Climate. It will provide a visual interpretation of youth visions for inclusive and just futures in Cape Town.
The project has been gaining momentum since it began in March 2022, as diverse young people have been gathering alongside artists, researchers, practitioners, scientists and environmentalists. The potential of this collaborative space has been enjoyed through unique experiences of nature immersion, ‘walkshops’, discussions/ sharings and creative exercises.
A participatory process of designing the mural: Youth and artists are excited to finally be designing the sketches for the 3 Anchor Bay Mural, inspired here by CareCreative’s Seawalls Kelp Forest mural in Muizenberg. Photo Credit – Kaya Tyne
Visualizing Human-Nature Connectedness
Given Cape Town’s location, conversations around interconnections between oceanic life, climate justice, water scarcity, plastic and other forms of pollution have been woven into the discussions and design of the mural.
The process of painting in public space brings a rich experience of interactions with a wide range of citizens and places the efforts of this work squarely in the focus of the City, local officials, residents and tourists. This piece actively engages intentional and incidental audiences in experiential and creative ways. The mural will have a QR code which takes the visitor to a site with more resources where they can learn more about the project, how climate change is impacting city-sea-and landscapes and what citizens can do to address it.
The mural painting process seeks to convene safe, novel, immersive and imaginative spaces for co-learning opportunities of human-nature connectedness through an arts-based and participatory process to enable a shift in mindsets, broadening political horizons and visions of the future. “Art-based and embodied methodologies are an effective way to develop passion and emotional connection with environmental issues and can help surface future imaginaries of what options exist for transformation, and how people might see themselves in these transformations”, says researcher Dr Nadia Sitas.
From Vision to Action
“How we think about the future informs our actions in the present and so art can provide spaces where negative, dystopian views of the future can be transformed by creating more positive visions and emotions linked to hope, solidarity, responsibility and care.” adds artist CareCreative.
Mak1ONE (founding member of HC360) says: “Art is a collective heartbeat, echoing the aspirations of the society we live in. By fostering public participation, we paint a vivid tapestry of awareness. In spraypaint and the brushstrokes of shared creativity, we illuminate crucial issues by inviting the youth to paint their vision for the planet, shaping a future where art becomes a catalyst for positive change and enlightenment.”
Care and Mak1ONE are members of Handcantrol360, a Graffiti Crew who was responsible for the recent Netball World Cup paintings that can be seen on the streets of Lower Long, opposite the CTICC in Cape Town. The HC360 Crew consists of committed teachers and mentors to aspiring young people that will assist participants to paint their visions into the mural and then finalize the painting to ensure the collaborative additions blend with the overall design.
Gregg Oelofse from the City’s Coastal Management Department says “It’s vital to have a vision of the future where the city and nature are integrated, and people feel included in that vision, these paintings and the process to develop them are important for that to happen.”
This participatory public artwork is the first of its kind in this space. It is something very exciting and shows the potential of working beyond academia and a real example of strength in diversity. The team is enjoying the process of painting, so if you see them in action be sure to stop and offer some words of encouragement.
A fun day out in November 2023 preparing the canvas for the evolving future imaginings. Photo Credit – Kaya Tyne
The Future is Bright
“The future is bright, gets brighter every day. I am the future and the future is me” – youth participant
The project continues beyond this site, so if you would like to get involved/ stay in touch or contribute please follow us @youth_naturefutures or email email@example.com