Transformations - Cape Town Pretoria

‘Transformations’ was a cross cultural Artist Exchange program, sponsored by Art in Embassies (AIE) and U.S. Embassy, South Africa, with the goal to engage U.S. artists and South African artists with local communities through the medium of art.

Full Transcript

0:02 BARKS-RUGGLES: It’s a pleasure to be here this morning at Akia Langa (?) we’re here
0:19 doing a project that’s associated with the design capital initiative here in Cape Town.
0:25 We’re pleased that the ambassador is joining us, Ambassador Patrick Gaspard and several
0:30 artists from the United States working with Akia Langa on a community project based around
0:38 using art.
0:38 GASPARD: First of all, we’re going to have a little bit of fun. This is a great project
0:42 for here in Langa township which was singled out by the world design convention this year.
0:53 It’s a fantastic project working with young people in the community to not only beautiful
0:58 its space but also create an economic development center. And we hope that the artists who are
1:05 here today are leaving something behind to inspire the young people who are with us.
1:11 OTHER: Thank you very much everybody for coming. We’ve got some gallery owners from here
1:38 at Lanate (?) which is the Langa township art gallery.
1:47 BIGGERS: When it comes to visual arts and visual practice specifically definitely in
1:49 my work, I think beauty is just a way to get to a deeper darker story.
1:52 SUSMAN: Certainly in our country when there are people who look at our art program and
1:56 think that there may not be any validity, art gives us that place to start so I want
2:01 to thank you all for being here and participating. I want to thank our artists and most of all
2:06 I want to thank our ambassador and his wonderful wife and their team for making this happen.
2:10 GASPARD: We’re here because of our amazing Arts in the Embassies project which was conceived
2:16 and created in 1963, launched by then-President Kennedy and has been continued in subsequent
2:23 administrations as a form of cultural diplomacy, gives us as Americans to put our culture on
2:31 display, our arts on display but we’re doing it in conversation with local communities.
2:39 We’re trying to leave something behind but we’re trying to take something away as well
2:42 because we’re here to also learn. It’s going to transform us equally as we’re transforming
2:49 the walls in this community.