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ImaginingOtherwise: Transforming Spaces through Arts Education

ImaginingOtherwise: Transforming Spaces through Arts Education was a Phase 2 Large Grant project in South Africa.

Imagining Otherwise is a cross disciplinary collaboration grounded in performance, activism and youth-led social change. The co-creator collective of young people located in Cape Town’s Cape Flats seeks to establish a sense of place beyond systemic identification of place with gangs, drugs and violence. We aim to challenge youth disempowerment related to lack of resources as consequence of systematic erasure and forgetting.

The project partners, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education and Bottomup deliver arts-based activism and education, with an explicit focus on young people’s participation in the community and a mentorship programme. The partners build capacity through intensive workshops with local artists: performance, storyboards and graphic novel. The cross-arts collaborative storying of experiences and dissemination enables a wide audience to engage with what young people identify in their communities for developing resilience. Drawing on the team's collective experience in working with marginalised young people and the arts as method for critical engagement in public life, we approach the context of violence and exclusion through participatory arts.

We ask:

  1. How do young people make sense of race and spatial inequalities in Cape Town?
  2. What role does the generative potential of the arts have in ‘hope’?
  3. When we create and make the world, can that assist in redressing the psycho-social effects of poverty, unemployment and rampant violence in educational and activist alternatives?
  4. How do dialogic creative arts generate a theory and practice of social change by, with and for marginalised young people?

In order to address these questions, we are working with several aims:

  • to map and analyse spatial inequalities of community engagement and resources in the Cape Flats
  • to establish a programme of youth engagement through creative arts education
  • through such engagement, to generate alternative youth imaginaries and practices

This short video highlights our final sharing and reflections from participants and facilitators. More information and videos from participants is available on the ImaginingOtherwise project page here.

Project location

Static google map

Resource Archive

Search or browse the resource archive for films, reports, toolkits and other resources produced by the Changing the Story and its commissioned projects. Items relating to South Africa are listed below:

TitleSummaryAuthorCategoriesTagsdoc_categories_hfilterdoc_tags_hfilter
Permanent crisis of visibility: Young working-class CapetoniansEngage Journal 45: Class and Inequality explores issues of class, socio-economic disadvantage and inequality in relation to gallery education and engagement programmes and the related sector. Read Permanent crisis of …Ashley Visagie, Dr Aylwyn Walsh, Helene Rousseau, , , , phase2 south-africa locationarticle language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-4-education
Transrational Communication through Participatory ArtsHear from Prof Paul Cooke and Dr Lou Harvey in conversation with Luke McFarline on their paper 'Transrational Communication through Participatory Arts with South African Youth.Dr Lou Harvey, Luke McFarline, Prof Paul Cooke, , , , , south-africa locationaudio language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-16-institutions sdg-4-education subject-participatory-arts
ImaginingOtherwise Conversation SeriesThe #ImaginingOtherwise team hosted a series of webinars, or international conversations, about the value of co-creation and participation. Catch-up on all the episodes at your leisure.Alexandra Sutherland, Daniel Maposa, Ishtar Lakhani, Sarah Summers, , phase2 south-africa locationfilm language-english
Getting a picture of the Cape Flats and the ImaginingOtherwise Youth Arts FestivalBlog (2020/04/08) Getting a picture of the Cape Flats and the ImaginingOtherwise Youth Arts FestivalAlexandra Sutherland, Ashley Visagie, Dr Aylwyn Walsh, , , , , event phase2 south-africa locationblog language-english subject-covid19 subject-reflections
Digital Storytelling in ImaginingOtherwise (film two)Developed with young artists in collaboration with (Lo-Def Film Factory), this step-by-step film demonstrates how you can use mobile phones for telling your stories. A group of the ImaginingOtherwise participants …, , , , , , phase2 south-africa locationfilm toolkit language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions
Reflections from The Performance and Conflict ConferenceBlog (2018/11/14) Reflections from The Performance and Conflict Conference, , , event phase2 south-africa locationblog language-english
Issie ChristoffelsIssie Christoffels loves the people of the Karoo. She remembers a hard youth, with very few opportunities: very few things to do, very little positive going on… Today she is …Issie Christoffels, , , event south-africa locationfilm language-english gender
Annie ArriesAnnie Arries is a primary school teacher who loves the Karoo and says she will never leave. She says here, children can still grow up as children. Her hope for …Annie Arries, , , event south-africa locationfilm language-english gender
WPS2 FINAL Mobilising the Past"Mobilising the Past to Support Human Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals" This literature review, authored by Emma Parker (University of Leeds) has been compiled as part of the …Emma Parker, , , south-africa locationlanguage-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions
Mrs A. Jaftha from Ryneveldt PrimaryMrs Jaftha was brought up in a strict home, to value the things they had, even the things they got for free. She remembers her childhood as a time of …Mrs A. Jaftha, , , event south-africa locationfilm language-english gender
Mobilising Histories of Discrimination, Persecution and GenocideThe ‘Mobilising Histories’ conference, held at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, brought together two projects funded by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) which ask how arts-based interventions …, , , event phase1 south-africa locationfilm language-english
The Change Makers – South AfricaBlog (2018/03/29) The Change Makers – South AfricaProf Chaya Herman, Prof Stuart Taberner, Tali Nates, , phase1 south-africa locationblog language-english
Mapping Community Heritage Case StudyMapping Community Heritage is a research project led by seven young people from rural communities bordering South Africa’s Kruger national park in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, University of …, , , , south-africa locationarticle language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities youth
Policy Brief: The Emerging Moringa EconomyThe Emerging Moringa Economy: A ground-breaking opportunity to boost rural green economies and youth employment in South Africa (2022) Policy brief from Follow-on Fund project, Transnational and Intergenerational Exploration of …, , , , , , phase3 south-africa locationlanguage-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-13-climate sdg-3-health-and-well-being sdg-8-work subject-policy
Reflections on the Phase Two Mapping Community Heritage project (South Africa)Iris shares her reflections on the Phase Two Mapping Community Heritage project (South Africa)., , , , , phase2 south-africa locationfilm language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities subject-reflections
PUBLICATION LAUNCH! Changing the Story: Our Third YearBlog (2021/05/21) PUBLICATION LAUNCH! Changing the Story: Our Third YearAisha Kayani, , , , , , , , , , cambodia colombia india kosovo phase2 south-africa changemakers locationblog language-english subject-covid19 subject-participatory-arts youth
ImaginingOtherwise Youth Arts ToolkitThe Youth Arts Toolkit is a collection of workshops (some online, some in person) that were developed over the year of the Imagining Otherwise project. This resource is for anyone …, , phase2 south-africa locationtoolkit youth
Malume uya Lumana[Duration 12 min 52 secs]Malume uya Lumana, , event south-africa locationfilm language-english
Thyspunt: Khoisan HeritageBlog (2020/03/30) Thyspunt: Khoisan Heritage, , , , phase2 south-africa changemakers locationblog language-english subject-reflections
The messiness of building community: Co-creation across lines of social differenceBlog (2020/01/08) The messiness of building community: Co-creation across lines of social differenceDr Aylwyn Walsh, Dr Scott Burnett, , , phase2 south-africa locationblog language-english subject-reflections
Where’s the Research in Evaluation?Blog (2018/10/31) Where’s the Research in Evaluation?Prof Stuart Taberner, , , phase1 south-africa locationblog language-english subject-reflections
Reflections on the Phase Two Mapping Community Heritage project (South Africa)Suggest shares his reflections on the Phase Two Mapping Community Heritage project (South Africa)., , , , , phase2 south-africa locationfilm language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities subject-reflections
Meet TaahirahTaahirah is 18 years old and from Cape Town South Africa. In this video Taahirah tells us more about her interests, inspirations and social engagement,, , , south-africa changemakers youth-research-board locationfilm language-english
The Allegory of the FenceBlog (2019/10/31) The Allegory of the FencePrudence Nkomo, , , , phase2 south-africa changemakers locationblog language-english youth
Changing the Story Film nominated for Two National Research Film Awardsblog (2018/09/24) Changing the Story Film nominated for Two National Research Film Awards, , phase1 south-africa locationblog language-english
Digital Storytelling in ImaginingOtherwise (film three)ImaginingOtherwise young people explore Cape Town, introducing their understanding of space and the creative use of film-making to represent people, communities and lives from the perspective of creative makers. Supported …, , , , , , phase2 south-africa locationfilm toolkit language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions
ImaginingOtherwise: Meet GomezThe ImaginingOtherwise project visited the Zeitz Mocaa museum as our final art-activism-educational event for this difficult year. Meet Gomez who is studying engineering and was fascinated by the architecture of …Gomez, , , , , event south-africa changemakers locationfilm subject-participatory-arts subject-reflections youth
Arts Activism ToolkitThe final #ImaginingOtherwise project is an Arts Activism toolkit. This toolkit intentionally brings together case studies of innovative arts activism practice from the global South, activities to develop one’s own …Alexandra Sutherland, Dr Aylwyn Walsh, Prof Paul Routledge, , , , , phase2 south-africa locationtoolkit language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions
Phase One Critical Review: The Change-Makers (South Africa)In March 2018, Prof Chaya Herman, Dr Charity Meki-Kombe and Prof Stuart Taberner conducted a critical evaluation and review of Changing the Story Phase 1 project 'The Change-makers.' The report …Dr Charity Meki-Kombe, Prof Chaya Herman, Prof Stuart Taberner, , , , , , phase1 south-africa locationreport language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-4-education subject-reflections
Change from the BottomUp: How participation & creative methods are needed to challenge school context in South AfricaBlog (2020/04/20) Change from the BottomUp: How participation & creative methods are needed to challenge school context in South AfricaAshley Visagie, Dr Aylwyn Walsh, , , , phase2 south-africa locationblog language-english subject-participatory-arts subject-reflections
Mobility Fund Report, 2020In 2019, Changing the Story (CTS) launched a Mobility Fund, offering financial support of up to £1000 designed to enhance the mobility and professional development of CTS grantees based in …, , , , , , , , bosnia-and-herzegovina colombia india nepal south-africa venezuela locationreport language-english subject-policy youth
The Emerging Moringa EconomyPhoto essay on the moringa economy in South Africa by Follow-on Fund project, Transnational and Intergenerational Exploration of Ecological Heritage., , , , , phase3 south-africa locationlanguage-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-13-climate sdg-3-health-and-well-being sdg-8-work
Voicing ambiguities in the Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba co-creator collectiveThis article authored by Aylwyn Walsh and Scott Burnett considers youth co-production in the context of the Changing the Story phase 1 project Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba. The participatory project conceives …Dr Aylwyn Walsh, Dr Scott Burnett, Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba, , , phase1 phase2 south-africa locationarticle language-english
BST Youth Leadership Programme v1.2 1This document provides guidance on the implementation of the Bishop Simeon Trust’s (BST) youth leadership programme, developed in partnership with the University of Leeds and our South African partners since …, , , , , south-africa locationlanguage-english sdg-16-institutions sdg-17-partnerships sdg-4-education leadership youth
Digital Storytelling in ImaginingOtherwise (film one)The ImaginingOtherwise crew introduces some of their tasks and experiments using video storytelling to amplify voices and advocate for their communities., , , , , , phase2 south-africa locationfilm toolkit language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions
Reflections on the Phase Two Mapping Community Heritage project (South Africa)Accurate shares her reflections on the Phase Two Mapping Community Heritage project (South Africa)., , , , , phase2 south-africa locationfilm language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities subject-reflections
Meet JaydenMeet Jayden, a Changing the Story Youth Research Board member from Cape Town, South Africa., , , south-africa changemakers youth-research-board locationfilm language-spanish
New Project: Developing Youth Leadership for More Peaceful and Inclusive Societies in Post-Conflict Countriesblog (2019/10/29) New Project: Developing Youth Leadership for More Peaceful and Inclusive Societies in Post-Conflict CountriesLauren Wray, , , , , , kenya namibia phase1 rwanda south-africa locationblog language-english youth
Meet TaahirahMeet Taahirah, a Changing the Story Youth Research Board member from Cape Town, South Africa., , , south-africa changemakers youth-research-board locationfilm language-english
Reflections on the Phase Two Mapping Community Heritage project (South Africa)Sindisiwe shares her reflections on the Phase Two Mapping Community Heritage project (South Africa)., , , phase2 south-africa locationfilm language-english subject-reflections
Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba Film TakeoverBlog (2020/03/19) Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba Film TakeoverIlizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba, , , event phase2 south-africa changemakers location
Mobilising Histories: ReflectionsBlog (2018/08/16) Mobilising Histories: Reflections, , , , phase1 south-africa changemakers locationblog language-english subject-reflections
Women in ArmsThis short film was created by the team at Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba to highlight the crucial role that women are playing in claiming space, dreaming new futures, and implementing militant …, , , event south-africa locationfilm language-english gender
Journey of Self Discovery, Taahirah HoosainSkill Exchange workshops to develop skills that would be useful to young change-makers, March - April 2022Taahirah Hoosain, , , , , event south-africa changemakers locationfilm language-english subject-wellbeing youth
ImaginingOtherwise: A Glossary of Arts Education Practice on the Cape FlatsIn this collaborative text, ImaginingOtherwise draw out the key social justice concerns faced by young people in South Africa, setting them against the learning from the arts-based project. Moving beyond …, phase2 south-africa locationlanguage-english
#CTStakeover Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba South AfricaBlog (2019/10/31) #CTStakeover Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba South Africa, , , , , event phase2 south-africa locationblog language-english subject-reflections youth