Arts activism


Imagining Otherwise

Transforming Spaces through Arts Education

Imagining Otherwise is a cross disciplinary collaboration grounded in performance, activism and youth-led social change. The co-creator collective of young people located in Cape Town’s Cape Flats seeks to establish a sense of place beyond systemic identification of place with gangs, drugs and violence. We aim to challenge youth disempowerment related to lack of resources as consequence of systematic erasure and forgetting.

The project partners, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education and Bottomup deliver arts-based activism and education, with an explicit focus on young people’s participation in the community and a mentorship programme. The partners build capacity through intensive workshops with local artists: performance, storyboards and graphic novel. The cross-arts collaborative storying of experiences and dissemination enables a wide audience to engage with what young people identify in their communities for developing resilience. Drawing on the team’s collective experience in working with marginalised young people and the arts as method for critical engagement in public life, we approach the context of violence and exclusion through participatory arts.

A Long Time Ago



Hello world


Meet the Participants

Meet Jayden who reflects on his neighbourhood, coping with the loss of friends to gangs and finding freedom in art through imagining possibilities. “You can escape through art, but why should it just be art? Why can’t our art become reality?”

Meet Gomez who is studying engineering and was fascinated by the architecture of the building and reflects on art, representation and politics in his own life.