Almost three decades after the end of apartheid, and despite some progress achieved, the South African society is still deeply divided. Cape Town, the most visited city in the country, presents shocking contrasts to many. Racial and social divides are still very real.

A group of artists decided to take this bleak outlook and turn it upside down, showcasing what unites Capetonians, rather than divide them.  From July 10th to August 30th 2019 the “Generation Next” project will showcase black&white portraits of Cape Town’s positive change-makers on the walls of the city’s main train station. They aim to raise awareness about the inspiring and transformative projects that these individuals are undertaking in under-served communities of the Mother City.

“Generation Next” looks at how public art can inspire future generations to create social benefits for under-resourced communities. The portraits depict talented entrepreneurs, artists, and leaders who are joining forces from all horizons. Together they strive to shape the future of Cape Town for the better — regardless of their culture, their privileges, their background, or color.

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

It is an artistic project brought to life by like-minded individuals that believe in the power of art as a tool for social change. It’s inspired by the worldwide INSIDE OUT project. This is not a commercial promotion and there are no marketing logos or messages displayed, only the portraits.

The project wants to highlight that you don’t need tons of money to impact society and contribute to change. The artistic installation complements initiatives and events at Cape Town’s train station on the 10th anniversary of Mandela Day.

The Faces behind the Generation Next Project

This project is brought to life thanks to an incredible team of talented Capetonian photographers, filmmakers, social entrepreneurs, and artists. They interviewed the participants, shot and printed portraits. Plus they got authorization from the city to paste the posters on the train station wall. The main driving force behind the Cape Town installation of the INSIDE OUT Project, was Ludovic Baussan. He gathered a team of passionate individuals to execute his dream.

“We hope that this art installation can shift some established perceptions, spark some interesting conversations amongst the public and inspire a new generation of positive change-makers.” Ludovic Baussan

Ludovic’s team included the students of Ekse Lens Photography School Phakamani Waka, Sinesipho Njeza, Unathi Mgele, Yandisa Nazo, Qhama Mroreli, and Siphamandla Singqoto. Momentum Production and Ekse Lens Photography School Yann Macherez, and Oliver Petrie. Oribi Village Dara Phitthayaphone, Auriane Lamy, and Ingrid Fiette. Digital Express Lynette and Dale Clay. Baz-Art Alexandre Tilmans. Plus the INSIDE OUT Project global team.

Visit www.generationnextproject.info to learn more about the faces behind the public artworks at the station. You can read more about the change-makers, their projects, and their vision for the future of South Africa.

What Is the INSIDE OUT Project

On March 2, 2011, French photographer JR won the TED prize at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. He called for the creation of a global participatory art project with the potential to change the world. And so the INSIDE OUT project was born.

Inspired by JR’s large‐format street “pastings”, INSIDE OUT gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait. Plus make a statement for what they stand for. It is a global platform for people to share their untold stories. And transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.

Each INSIDE OUT group action around the world is documented, archived and exhibited online. Over 260,000 people have participated in 129 countries. “Generation Next” is the first INSIDE OUT initiative on the walls of Cape Town.

The INSIDE OUT project has traveled from Ecuador to Nepal, from Mexico to Palestine. Everywhere the installations inspire group actions on varied themes such as hope, diversity, gender-based violence, and climate change. For more information visit www.insideoutproject.net 

Combining the Arts with Mandela Day Celebrations

Numerous South Africans commend Nelson Mandela, the father of liberation and freedom from Apartheid, on the 18th July (which is his birthday). His call and legacy was that from around the globe we would do what we can to annihilate and eradicate poverty. And follow up on the possibility that every human has the ability to change the world. The idea of Mandela Day was motivated by Nelson Mandela himself at his 90th Birthday festivities in London in 2008, when he stated, “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”

Rail Tourism, Metrorail Western Cape has a variety of partners that share their vision of following in the footsteps of the great Madiba. These include both corporates, small entrepreneurial companies, and NGO’s. On Mandela Day 2019 these organizations gathered at the Cape Town Station Forecourt to bring awareness of services and offerings. They include the following big brand names, and smaller goodwill companies:

  • ABSA
  • Sanlam
  • Vodacom
  • Velile Tinto Cape INC.
  • Blue Ribbon
  • The Beverage Company
  • Hoffies Catering
  • Xstitch
  • Philisaabafazi
  • The Haven Kensington
  • Tongues of Fire
  • Heart of The Haven
  • TBHIVCare

Giving Back To The Community

On Mandela Day the many homeless people that wander the boulevards of Cape Town and the station will not only be fed them but these organizations will share information that could potentially change their lives. Winter is bitter cold, and the Haven night shelters have started a campaign, called “BUY A BED”, Xstitch teaches people how to crochet, a skill which can ensure sustainability. Velile Tinto Cape INC. wants to bring awareness of the importance of wills and information for first time home buyers, two very important elements in one’s life. Absa shared their vision.

“We believe in possibility, and our priority is to play our role in putting the basic building blocks in place to ensure that young South Africans have the opportunity to reimagine their futures and turn their possibility into action.  It is with this in mind that we have made a very clear commitment to our continent and its youth – a commitment that involves our expertise, our assets, financial investment, our employees’ time and skills and our partnerships across all areas of our business. Our commitment to leave our communities better than we found them is the lifeblood of the way in which we are doing business – now and in the future” Haroon Abrahams, Absa Regional Executive, Retail Banking, Western Cape.