A City desired through the lens of Capetonians

The new exhibition City Desired investigates the challenges and possibilities facing Cape Town. It opened on 30 October in City Hall and runs until 10 December 2015.

Ten everyday people’s lives

The interactive exhibition portrays ten everyday people’s lives and desires for the future. Their story is captured through in-depth journalistic research, photography’s, films and interactive tools.

A city awkwardly negotiating change

The ten Capetonians life experiences offer powerful insights into the fabric of the city. A domestic worker, taxi boss, psychiatrist, urban farmer, environmental officer, spaza shop owner, violence counsellor, architect, school principal, and twin brothers who collaborate as artists all tell their story. City Desired maps the fine grain of a city awkwardly negotiating change.

Complex challenges

The exhibition offers the public a full-spectrum view of Cape Town's many and complex challenges. Drawing on extensive research undertaken by African Centre for Cities, ACC CityLab research programme, as well as research from within University of Cape Town and other institutions, City Desired is structured around ten key themes, each of which affect the city's present and future livelihood. These core themes are well-being, education, mobility, shelter, work, the food system, land, diversity, vulnerability and climate change.

An exhibition built out of partnerships

City Desired is a project of the ACC and was made possible by various partner organisations: City of Cape Town, Max Planck Institute, Pro Helvetia, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Goethe Institute, Ove Arup Foundation, the National Research Foundation, Mistra Urban Futures, and the Africa Centre. Additional support has been provided by the Council for Higher Education Consortium, the Dutch Consulate, Cape Town Partnership, International New Town Institute, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading, Western Cape Government and the University of Cape Town. The Children's Radio Foundation is a core partner bringing young voices into the conversation.

Read more

An exhibition on cities through the lens of Cape Town
The desire for a different future


Photo credit:

Photo startpage and news overview, Oliver Kruger for City Desired, courtesy African Centre for Cities
Photo 1-4, Oliver Kruger for City Desired, courtesy African Centre for Cities
Photo 5-7, Paula Zapata for City Desired, courtesy African Centre for Cities