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Of Taxis and Art

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

By:  Taryn Cohn

Publisher:  Classic Feel

Published Date:  2009 February 01


" The South African taxi industry offers one artist some rare opportunities. CLASSIC FEEL’s Taryn Cohn chats to artist Susan Woolf about her innovative project, which aims to formalise a new language in South Africa – the language of local travel. South African society is one of the most disparate in terms of the divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, those who have means, wealth and access to opportunity and those who don’t. The concept is bandied about regularly in the rhetoric of political speeches, swapped over dessert at many a social gathering and invariably becomes a buzz phrase every time some or other big-name development agency releases its thick, glossy report on the state of life in the emerging economies. What are less explored are the implications of this divide for the way in which society operates on a day-to-day basis – how innovative solutions to everyday problems, born out of necessity, become interwoven with the cultural fabric of society. These manifestations become the idiosyncrasies that make our society unique and, in the right hands, empower us. What I am referring to here is how the notion of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ plays itself out on the streets of our cities, namely between those who have cars and those who don’t, and, in a very interesting about turn, those who have access to public transport and those who don’t. "

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