Take a taxi to workshop

Metro Mass will involve scores of people boarding taxis at the Bree Street Taxi RankMetro Mass will involve scores of people boarding taxis at the Bree Street Taxi Rank A CHALLENGE has been issued: on Saturday, 19 March, leave your car at home and catch public transport to Museum Africa at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.

The museum is hosting an intervention and workshop, called A Challenge to Move En Masse, which forms part of the Our Cities Ourselves exhibition and aims to get the population thinking about urban transportation.

“[The exhibition] shows the visions of 10 of the world’s most fascinating cities from 10 of the world’s leading architects. These cities have proven to be leaders in innovation in sustainable transport and are fertile ground for further transformation,” says the exhibition’s website.

Finding ways to combat reliance on private transport is at the heart of the workshop. Asking people to catch their nearest form of public transport to get there is a way of indicating that travelling this way is viable.

To draw people into thinking even deeper about their trip into the city centre, they have been asked to either start a conversation with the person sitting next to them or write down their opinions on two questions: what would you like to see in the news tomorrow; and where is your favourite space in Johannesburg and why.

The answers will form the basis of the discussion and brainstorming session in the workshop, and will work towards a bigger idea which organisers are hoping to carry out later in the year.

“This En Masse workshop will act as a trial run and research platform towards the bigger idea [Metro Mass] as well as an activator of the Our Cities Ourselves exhibition, and a possible initiator of other public projects and artworks,” say organisers Such Initiative, collaborating with Thandi O’Hagan and the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA).

Metro Mass, if carried out, will involve 5 000 people who don’t usually use taxis, using the Bree Street Taxi Rank to commute via taxi in a normal and natural way.

Such Initiative is a collaboration between visual artists Hannelie Coetzee and Usha Seejarim, which aims to alter perceptions through eco-conscious public art. O’Hagan is the senior public relations and marketing manager at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newton.

People attending Saturday’s workshop are asked to catch public transport to arrive at Museum Africa between 10 and 11am. The workshop will run until 12.30pm.

Museum Africa is found at 121 Bree Street, in Newtown, Joburg’s cultural precinct.