Street Art in 7925 Cape Town: Hipster, social justice and tolerance

Where did you go to? I went for a walk in Woodstock to look at street art. What a change this suburb of Cape Town went through over the last 10 to 15 years, it is somehow mind-blowing really. While I wander around I think back all these many years and I am sure I wouldn’t have done this in the same way as today.

Woodstock - Cafés, restaurants, deco-and design stores

Today there are Cafés, restaurants, deco-and design stores all over the place. The gentrification is well on its way, it might probably all have started with the opening of the Old Biscuit Mill. Places like Salt Circle Arcade, The Exchange and The Foundry followed suit. Even a community garden has been established lately, who would have thought? Marvellous. The transition has got pros and cons as in everywhere worldwide. What is going to happen to all the locals when they can’t afford to live here anymore at one point in the future? But then, it is of course excellent for the area that it is revitalised and livelier than it has been years ago. The aforementioned projects bring the crowds to Woodstock. Change takes time and doesn't happen overnight.

Work by Chinese artist DalEast (left corner) / Bees by Australian artist Mike Maka / "Sleeping dog" by Frank von Reenen / A garden in a fiberglass Zebra / THE TOURISTIN in a blue swing

Industrial warehouses, tiny side streets and small cottages

There are lots of industrial warehouses in Woodstock, and a maze of tiny side streets lined with private properties. I park my car after a quick chat to the owner of a nearby mechanics. The very big chap is so friendly to point out a space in front of a row of houses resembling fishermen cottages. An old guy, he looks like he is well in his 90s with his face all wrinkly and his back bent, removing weed in his yard promises to keep an eye on my four-wheeled friend. People are chatty and welcoming in Woodstock. There is a lady sitting on the pavement, she doesn’t seem to notice much of her surroundings, she is also part of this town. I heard people dub homeless people as freaks. It doesn't hurt to respect a homeless person, remember they are part of our society too. And why would you ever call a human a freak only because that person has to live in poverty? Pathetic.

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice

Since we are in South Africa I quote Nelson Mandela “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

Every trip to South Africa is full of magic, her good looks and vibes are preeminent, but there is also so much to think about, it is a country of contrast. The messages in many street art pieces in Woodstock ask for social justice and tolerance. Start to live that message. We all know that small things can bring change. You are in one of the hipster epicentres of Cape Town when sipping a Cappuccino at the Superette (Café) in The Exchange. It is all there, great coffee from local coffee roasters Deluxe and Rosetta, underground tiles on the walls, Xavier Pauchard Tolix style chairs in yellow, big smiling staff and one of the most complicated Wi-Fi passwords I had to use ever … so far so good, enjoy your time, but don't tag people as freaks because of their low income or colour of skin. 

South African people work hard to heal the scars of Apartheid

Woodstock is great evidence that South African people work hard to heal the scars of Apartheid. Go and see it for yourself, learn from it and take their attitude home with you.

By Capetonian artist (Ricky Lee Gordon) Freddy Sam

By Canadian artist Elicser

By artist Gaia from USA

By Brazilian artist Binho together with artist Cern from USA

By Brazilian artist Binho together with artist Cern from USA

Have a browse at Bibliophilia. Books for design and street art fans

When I get back to my Land Rover, it waits there impatiently … longing to take me on many more adventurous excursions through one of the most captivating cities on earth.

If you like Street Art, here is more: LondonBerlin 1. Berlin 2. Berlin 3.

From Berlin with love