On 24 August 2019 350Africa.org together with HoneyBush Communications and various other schools, community, environmental as well as creative and cultural sector partners brought a spectacular ‘Youth Artivism Workshop’ to Community House in Salt River, Cape Town. 
Artivism Workshop - Cape Town, South Africa

The overall idea was to provide a safe space for all children but in particular children from historically disadvantaged communities together with artists and activists; to experiment deeply with processes of creativity and reflection about environmental crises through art.  

The unfolding journey was also co – documented by Children’s Radio Foundation youth and filmed as well as photographed intimately. Key partners were interviewed with regards to their opinions related to climate change, local environmental as well as social justice concerns.

The four themes of exploration through art were as follows: Water Justice, Renewable energy vs. Coal, Organic food vs. GMOs and Plastic Pollution. 

The output of art mediums allowed for a full range of hand-painted posters ready for display at the ‘Global Climate Strikes’ scheduled for 20-27 September, 2019 and selected works of art created through painting, printmaking, sculpture, pottery, spray painting for possible exhibition at the ‘Financing the Future Summit’ scheduled for 10 September, 2019 and or other spaces of significance; as well as an outdoor mural and four-piece canvas array creation in collaboration with local street, visual artists and eco-warriors. 

We had over 100 participants in attendance both young and old from all sides of Cape Town who attended with support from XR Mzansi and Project 90 by 2030. 

The feedback from youth, facilitators and partners has been overwhelmingly positive. Requests for follow-up interventions and comments from those who found it difficult to exit and wanted to stay longer are on-going. 

This event activated permission to communities to start thinking about the ‘Global Climate Strikes’ and local including global environmental emergencies through the lenses of creativity; which is both vital, innovative and proactive. 

Author: Saba Zahara