Streetlights – GoetheonMain

Streetlights explored the city of Johannesburg through its lighting strategies. The project examined the role artificial light plays in shaping and defining the way people either move through, or occupy, these public spaces. The project focused on the larger area around GoetheonMain in Jeppestown, and attempted to understand the relationships people in the area (residents, security guards, shop owners, pedestrians) might have formed with these various spaces. The Streetlights project consisted of various components, such as text and performance based collaborations that were presented at GoetheonMain. The project was developed to explore an alternative way of perceiving and engaging with the city of Johannesburg.

The interdisciplinary approach looked at providing a multiplicity of narratives and viewpoints, with eleven writers contributing text-based responses to the project. Their departure point was to place themselves, for a chosen period, on-site with their assigned streetlight, with no disruption to their experience other than a focus on the interplay between light and space.

The contributing writers were Libby Allen (editor), Lester Adams, Neil Coppen, Phillipa Yaa De Villiers, Joseph Gaylard, Liam Lynch, Lebohang Nova Masango, Zaki Mtshali, Scott Smith and Percy Zvomuya.

Another component of the project looked at the possibilities of performance in response to the research and thematic approach of the project. Through a workshop process, Sadie, together with frequent collaborator Sello Pesa, considered the area through the observation and study of the patterns and rhythms of movement by residents in relation to the varying quality and quantity of light in the spaces they negotiate.

The workshop performers were Murray Kruger, Shayna De Kock, Mbali Khoza, Humphrey Maleka, Brian Mtembu and Kyla Davis.

See videos below: