Cultural center
Cape Town, South Africa

Marx arkitektur works with a pre study with the aim to accomplish a cultural center in Cape Town, South Africa. The client Soundz Of the South visited Stockholm in August 2017. The preparations for the project startup has been running low flame but steady until recently when Marx Arkitektur and the Swedish cultural center Cyklopen achieved money from IASPIS for a first trip down to the site in Cape Town.

The trip will happen in October 2018 and now the preparations for a productive week is taking place. The stay is going to include:
Town walking tours with mapping exercises, meeting with a local collaborating architect, site visits, workshops, seminars and discussions. The trip is the real startup point for the project.

The area where the cultural center is planned is described below:
“Khayelitsha is a township in Western Cape, South Africa, located on the Cape Flats in the City of Cape Town. It is the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Originally, it was established as an “apartheid dumping ground” in the mid 80’s as a part of the “Group Areas Act”. In the last ten years the population has risen from 400,000 to 2.4 million, 50% of which are under 19 years of age. Unemployment rate is 73%, with 70% living in shacks. 89% of homes are considered moderately to severely food insecure. The extreme poverty, coupled with poor community infrastructure, lead to immense crime rates, gangs, violence, drugs as well as other societal ills.

These challenges, while experienced by everyone, are perhaps most harshly felt by young people. Unemployment and limited access to quality education further exasperate these dismal conditions. SOS works within this context, a product of historical oppression, continued injustice and marginalization. “ SOS

The project summary:
“The Centre is an open, safe and empowering space to be founded by a collective of community activists, hiphop artist and creative social entreprenuers, providing a unique alternative social, pedagogical and organising experience for members of the wider Khayelitsha community. The Centre is modelled after Cyklopen in Stockholm, Sweden and various European social centres, but also recalling the importance of the Bantu Men's Social Centre, an anti-apartheid mainstay in Johannesburg.

Bringing together diverse groups that focus on art, skills development, popular education, and community organising, the Centre will be a cooperatively run space which refuses to privilege any individual but rather seeks to build consensus amongst its members in moving the project forward.

The Centre is expected to include the following thematic nodes, each of which will be run by a sub-collective of workers and members:
• A bookstore, gift shop and community library
• Youth clubhouse and events space for film screenings, performances, talks and discussions
• A music production, recording and rehearsal studio
• Film and Photography studio
• Community radio station
• A media café with the following services: internet, printing, copying and computer training
• A craft market
• A community-oriented historical and cultural museum

With the goal of becoming one of the first community-run social spaces in the Cape Flats, the Centre will be a safe space
for people of diverse backgrounds who seek to engage with and involve thousands of locals and people from all over the
Cape Town townships.“ SOS

Soundz Of the South