Cape Town’s well-worn narrative as a city wrought by separation and inequality was retold through the lives of 11 citizens in the exhibition City Desired, which grappled with the tensions, contradictions and celebrations of everyday life below and beyond the mountain.
A first of its kind in Africa, Cityscapes of the ACC partnered with the City of Cape Town and other bodies to merge personal biographies with (wider statistics), audio-visual storytelling and interactive technology. Open to the public throughout the upper rooms of the City Hall, the exhibition invited ordinary Capetonians to come in, question and ponder the city’s alternate futures.
In-depth portraits of citizens varying from psychiatrists and farmers to artists and taxi bosses were coupled with over-arching themes that concern the city’s survival, such as education, shelter and climate change.
The exhibition endures through the City Desired website, a living archive for users to tap in deeper to the diverse material that contributed to the final exhibition.