Soft Walls seeks to deal with convivial relationships between migrated African nationals and South Africans; revealing the subtle ways in which individuals make sense of their experiences; forming relationships and bonds that can challenge dominant perceptions wherein difference is celebrated and prejudices towards “foreign” Africans are perpetuated.
With migrants settling in, marrying, developing friendships and building homes with South Africans, the question of identity and belonging has become central. While immigrant integration has fairly engaged and transformed South African communities, the process has not, necessarily, led to cohesive communities. This has, in turn, led to the perceived walls or restrictions and unfavourable relationship issues.
Smith’s Soft Walls figuratively investigates the subtle ways in which African nationals and South Africans, in relationships, make sense of their space, experiences and complexities.
Holding a keen interest in audience engagement, funded by The City of Cape Town’s ART54 fund, the work was installed on the Sea Point Promenade of Cape Town for 7 months, with QR code augmented reality technology. Thank you to Rory Allen for the timelapse.