The Maboneng Township Experience is the brainchild of Siphiwe Ngwenya. The project, started in Alexandria Township in Johannesburg 11 years ago, is a unique concept that turns township homes into art galleries. Working with residents and their families, the project aims to create a warm and intimate art environment, while simultaneously creating skills and sustainable employment.
A handful of homes in Gugulethu have been transformed into permanent living galleries, and on 29 November members of the public are welcome to get a peek inside. The families have committed to remaining open to the public throughout their daily activities, and all artworks exhibited are for sale. Artists from South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Germany will be showcasing their talents. “Based on collaboration between artists and curators, home owners, organisers, the community and visitors, the project has the support of local organisations and companies who have all contributed to making this happen” says Siphiwe.
Film, music and dance performances are also planned for this unique township tour. “We want to up the artistic level here,” Siphiwe says, “and showcase design as an art form that can be used to enhance and inspire our township communities. We didn’t want to do flea markets in people’s homes – we’re hoping to foster an artistic culture that will connect the township to the city. It’s a great opportunity to create social cohesion through a shared experience.”