Who we are

Macassar “Who we are” exhibition

Macassar Public Library, Western Cape (South Africa) 2018

University of Cape Town (UCT) South Africa

The temporary exhibition installations were located in three local spaces in Macassar and were designed and built by the non-profit Studiolight along with local youth in cooperation with students from the University of Cape Town (UCT).
In 2016 youth from Macassar were inspired by local spaces to document their world through a street photography project. The young people attended photography lessons followed by a frame-making workshop at the UCT to learn how to capture and better display their photographs.
In 2017, the young people met with the community to plan an exhibition that could connect the public library with two local spaces (an informal shack, a sculptor’s house) in Macassar through storytelling practices. The aim of the exhibition was to imagine a contemporary cultural space in a community that had limited access to state-built public facilities.
In 2018, students from the UCT’s School of Architecture joined forces with the local youth to complete the exhibition installation in the library using found materials. During the exhibition, the installations evolved into participatory spaces, where community elders could share their stories in response to the photography. Out of the exhibition emerge an ongoing storytelling project and the brief for a permanent storytelling space in the community.


Studiolight, Macassar Public library

Youth photographers: Elton Abrahams, Charlton Abrahams, Stephanie Alexander, Giovanni Alexander, Elcardo Samuels,
Community storytellers: Thys Abrahams, Thomas Adonis, Enith Adonis, Cedric Hendricks, Marcha Solomons Paul Swartz, Danny van Wyk, Carl Winsten

Sponsoring + support


UCT: Clint Abrahams, John Coetzee, Shafiek Matthews

UCT: Chinenye Chukukwa, Christine Ho, Kayleigh Jonkers, Nchima Kamwendo, Phimzile Konile, Charlotte Mabatha, Mxolisi Moyo, Biyelwu Xiphu

Research question

How to forge common space for community wellbeing?

11-50, Architecture, Cape Town Univ., Extra-curricular, Initiated by institution, Months, Self-funded, South Africa, Students with tutor, Temporary, Undergraduate