“Politicians don’t bring people together, artists do” – Richard Daley, former mayor of Chicago, USA.
When I first heard about Infecting The City, I cringed a little at the choice of words that were used. Then I looked past all the stigma attached to the words and I saw it for what really it is. An initiative that thrives on ideas and suggestions that literally infect the city and her inhabitants with renewed life. Then I found out that the 2016 festival that had been cancelled, due to a lack of funds. This is in spite of the tremendous success the festival experienced last year. One wonders where the funds are, then one remembers that this year, elections are being held and money is needed for our politicians to win. Priorities.
It isn’t the end, no, not with so much resilience, determination and most importantly Free Will. The programme, with the support of our local Cape Town community, is still planning on bringing some livelihood into our city. There’s still some hope that we will one day have a city built for people and not for cars and traffic.
After reading the above article, it becomes empirical that we, as a community stand up and lay down the law when it comes to what we require from our local government.
We have a local army, ready and waiting to be radicalized, one way or another. The popularity of riots and protests prove that there are growing numbers of communities that are not being heard by the local government and we have to make the difficult choices that our politicians keep skirting aside, in favor of their personal image. Why not radicalize our army with the power of artistic expression and community projects?
One group is taking the initiative to learn and grow as community leaders, in their own way. They’ve said no to the suit and tie regalia and embrace their own culture of information sharing without letting go of their ability to inspire, educate and grow. We have more and more youth like Down South Natives gracing our streets, infecting young minds with ideas of an infinitely possible future where we can all exist and not just survive. Youth initiatives like this are the army YOU want to see.
I leave you with this to consider.
If you can’t support local creatives and their ideas about the evolution of Cape Town, are you willing to accept more informal settlements in your areas? More beggars on the street, watching you as you eat that meal that costs more than they get in a week? Are you willing to watch your children go to schools that can’t equip them for the future? Stand up, support local and infect the city.