Johannesnburg - Sporting his gold mask and black cape, the superhero will jump down from a Jeppe Park tree to rescue residents of Jeppestown on Saturday. He has had enough of thugs robbing people every night at the park.
He wants children to freely play soccer there, and as their protector, to make sure the Jeppe community feels safe.
The ideal of bringing the Jeppe community together at this park comes in the form of Superdream project, a new public art intervention that will take place on Saturday at Jeppe Park. The Superhero is one of three short films that will be showcased.
It tells a story of a security guard who is the victim of mugging at Jeppe Park. He goes to a sangoma for protection muti. Overdosing gives him super powers and he becomes the protector of those attacked at the park and throughout Jeppestown. He hides up trees for a bird’s-eye view.
The short film was conceptualised, filmed and edited by artist group Black Screen, on location and in a nearby building within the Jeppe area. Superdream project is part of a programme by Black Screen to transform its community through its artwork. Among the artwork produced is dance, poetry, hip hop and two other short films. The event will explore the notion of what constitutes art in an urban situation.
Commissioned by the British Council as part of it’s Connect ZA programme, Superdream is an initiative taking place across two continents: at Jeppe Park in Joburg and at Windmills Hills Park in the UK city of Gateshead. Both projects explore urban living, uses of public space and the role that local communities can play in stabilising and redefining public cultural life.
The event will be a multidimensional art experience that presents the different, collaborative creative responses by Jeppe’s artistic community working with UK artists.
Adding impact to the event will be the presentation of the Windmill Hills Park artworks which were created for the launch of the Gateshead International Festival of Theatre 2014.
The connection between Jeppe Park and Windmills Hills Park will be additionally cemented with various digital platforms linking activities in South Africa and the UK on the night.
The Trinity Sessions, a Joburg contemporary art production team, is working in collaboration with Sticky Situations, Isis Arts and The Swallows Foundation in Gateshead, UK to create Superdream.
“We are not pretending that this public art intervention is going to wave a magic wand and solve the social problems in an area that is on the tipping point of change and regeneration,” said Stephen Hobbs of The Trinity Sessions.
Tom Porter, head of arts at British Council South Africa said the Superdream project operated on two levels.
“Firstly, as a collaborative art project between artists and communities in South Africa and the UK and secondly, as a platform for social engagement to mobilise young people in less-resourced and underdeveloped areas to unlock their creative ideas.”
The Jeppe Park Superdream project will showcase at Gus and Jules street from 7pm to 9pm tonight and entry is free.