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Building Blocks

Global Studio Johannesburg

Global Studio is a place-based action research program where international students, academics, and professionals come together with local universities, government, and NGOs to collaborate with disadvantaged communities. Since its inception in 2005 over 500 students, academics and professionals from 50 universities and 30 countries have joined the Global Studio in Turkey, Canada, South Africa and India. From 2007-2009 Global Studio worked in Diepsloot, an informal settlement on the northern edge of Johannesburg, South Africa, with some 60% of its 160,000 inhabitants under or unemployed.

As a Project Associate in Global Studio Johannesburg (2009), Natacha Poggio coordinated a team of international students to facilitate the development and implementation of Diepsloot Arts in Action Festival, an annual event celebrating the variety of artistic talent in Diepsloot. Natacha Poggio also designed the exhibition panels displayed at the International Biennial of Architecture, Rotterdam.

These square blocks represent a glimpse of some of Natacha Poggio’s month-long experiences in Diepsloot. Using her own photography, she captured the daily activities of some of the township’s inhabitants. The blocks put together represent a metaphor of building community, social change, job creation, community empowerment and improvements to the well-being and creative life of Diepsloot.

Year:2009
Client:Self-initiated
Photography:Natacha Poggio
Media:Wooden blocks with vinyl imagery