Accepted paper:

'The 'Great Walk and More' Thupelo workshop 2010: performing community through the visual arts in Cape Town city, South Africa


N Jade Gibson (University of the Western Cape )

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines 'The Great Walk and More' Thupelo 2010 workshop in South Africa, involving artists warking with street residents in an imporverished area. Artistic creativity is explored as a performative means in relation to belonging and self, the contemporary art world, space and transition.

Paper long abstract:

Thupelo Arts project is an annual workshop extending from the 1980s in South Africa. It has remained as a space for artists to come together from all backgrounds to exchange ideas under the rubric of 'learning by example' through international and local workshops organized by Greatmore Art Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town. The year 2010 was a year where the World Cup was a focus for South Africa. During this time Greatmore ran an international Thupelo arts workshop and street festival 'The Great Walk and More' in which artists worked with street residents in Greatmore Street, an economically disadvantaged area of Woodstock. Although in the 1980s art institutions in Cape Town worked to establish arts workshops and draw artists from the community, many have since undergone demise and consequently, many argue, limiting contemporary fine arts tertiary education to the more privileged echelons of Cape Town. This paper examines the performative role of artistic creativity in reshaping notions of belonging and self within Cape Town city, access to and understanding of the contemporary art world, as well as creating a local visibility for residents in the city, bearing on questions of transition, space, society and personhood in a changing South Africa.

panel P224
Performing creativity and creating performances: dialogues and tensions on experiencing culture and making places