The Plus Network Biennial Conference on Sustainability was hosted by Imagine Durban, and focused on innovative forms of city governance. dala was commissioned to develop a series of creative interventions to reflect the content of the conference.
The interventions demonstrated how creativity can be used as a catalyst for democratic practices in public space. The interventions all stemmed from a drawing workshop with grade 4 – 7 school children from Mayville and Cato Crest primary schools in Cato Manor / uMkhumbane. Their re-imagining of the city was used as inspiration for a series of sand sculptures, public installations and collaboration with the municipal parks department.
The first day of the conference focused on awareness and scoping. We had worked with a sand sculptor to imagine new imaginations of the city in sand.
The second day involved working with visioning. School learners had been invited by Imagine Durban to submit art on visioning the city to a competition. A selection of the submissions were installed in public spaces surrounding the community hall in Kwa Mashu where the conference was taking place.
Inspired by the images, a group of children crept into the hall and joined an empty table where a series of new drawings emerged.
The third day took place in Warwick Junction and the image produced by the children was blown up onto a canvas banner and installed at the venue.
The originals were exhibited and then given to conference delegates.
The fourth day focused on implementation.
Collaborating with the municipal parks department, the image produced by the children was re-interpreted into a plant mural in Cato Manor.
The final day focused on monitoring and feedback and culminated in the final presentation of creative reflections during the plenary.