I was the photographer for an exhibition about ten everyday people
Based on in-depth journalistic research, City Desired uses a range of media platforms, including photography, film and interactive tools, to profile ten Capetonians whose life experiences offer powerful insights into the fabric of the city. Drawing on the biographies of a domestic worker, taxi boss, psychiatrist, urban farmer, environmental officer, spaza shop owner, violence councilor, architect, school principal, and twin brothers who collaborate as artists, City Desired maps the fine grain of a city awkwardly negotiating change.
While strongly focused on biography, the exhibition nonetheless offers the public a full- spectrum view of Cape Town’s many and complex challenges. Drawing on extensive research undertaken by ACC’s Citylab research programme, as well as research from within UCT and other institutions, City Desired is structured around ten key themes, each of which affects the city’s present and future livelihood. These core themes are Well- Being, Education, Mobility, Shelter, Work, The Food System, Land, Diversity, Vulnerability and Climate Change.
City Desired is curated by Tau Tavengwa and Edgar Pieterse, with Caroline Sohie.
“City Desired intends to unlock a different public discourse about the current state and futures of the city,” says Professor Edgar Pieterse, director of the ACC. “In an atmosphere where most public debate gets ensnared in fixed oppositions and polemic, City Desired endeavours to open up fresh and interesting engagements with the city and its endless potential and inspire an exploration of the key challenges and opportunities facing the city across race, economic status, and geography to inspire meaningful action.” “The exhibition clarifies the interconnected nature of all Capetonians whose fates are linked,” says Tau Tavengwa, chief designer of City Desired.