One of the biggest challenges for South Africans is showcasing it's extraordinary cultural, past and present to the world. The recent unveiling of mural art at Africa's Travel Indaba at the Durban International Convention centre (Durban ICC) is a step forward in this regard.
Image(s) via South African Tourism
The giant mural, which was unveiled by the South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, was created by four artists and represents Durban as well as broader South African society.
A member of the South African Tourism (SA Tourism) Board, Michelle Constant explains that the intention of the mural is for visitors to stand in front of it and take a selfie and place it on social media, to show the world that we have an extraordinary culture.
Cultural roots are also one of the five pillars of tourism.
"We need the world to acknowledge our extraordinary culture. The opportunity to showcase this through this mural and at this event is part of SA Tourism driving culture and creativity. It also allows us to demonstrate and show something different. Cultural roots are also one of the five pillars of tourism."
Kev Seven a graffiti artist of 12 to 15 years who worked on the project sees it as a big step forward. "It is the first mural in street art in the Durban ICC."
"It is mural that welcomes the world and opens its arms to everyone," says Sphephelo Mnguni who also worked on the project. "I hope people will look at the mural and experience a sense of unity, peace, love and positive vibes."
Samora Chapman, another artist who collaborated on the project says the mural is based on the most inclusive part of Durban. "It also extends beyond Durban into the broader South African society. I hope people will find it uplifting and fun and will photograph it and share it."
The mural, while planned over a long period of time, took 10 days to complete and contains scenes of South Africa life, some of which is symbolic such as a robot in the mural that symbolises industry.
Art contributes about 1.9% to South Africa’s GDP. Most of the country’s creatives are below the age of 30, and 95% black, split equally among female and male.
Constant emphasises that the arts are key to opening the door to science and technology. "We are seeing STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths becoming STEAM, with art added in."
Danette Breitenbach was the editor and publisher of Advantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. Before her editorship, she was deputy-editor as well as freelancing for over a year on the publication before that. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B, in the fields of marketing, mining, disability marketing, advertising and media.
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