ON Sunday 20 February a public function will be hosted by the City for officially launching the Fietas Subway Artwork on De la Rey Street in Fordsburg. Starting at 2 pm, the launch will be attended by former and current residents of Pageview (popularly known as “Fietas”) and surrounding areas, together with senior councilors and community leaders.
The Fietas Subway mural is a huge artwork telling the stories of the Pageview / Fietas’ community which was uprooted by apartheid in the 1970s. Many in the Fietas community were forced to move to the Lenasia, Kliptown, Eldorado Park and other segregated Group Areas under apartheid, while the Indian traders were moved to the Oriental Plaza.
The mural covers an area of 1 538 square metres, running for 26 metres along the walls of the subway on De la Rey Street linking Fordsburg and Pageview. The treatment includes sandblasting of concrete surfaces, plastering, painting, sign-writing and laser-cut steel elements mounted onto the walls.
In recent years, past residents of Fietas have been returning to celebrate their heritage. As part of the Fietas Festival in 2003, a team of young people painted a historical mural on the wall of this subway linking Fietas and Fordsburg. This pioneering mural project was led by the artist Reg Pakari, who is also one of the artists for the latest subway artwork – the new and upgraded version. Reg Pakari has been joined this time by two women artists, Bronwyn Lace and Rookeya Gardee, who was born in Fietas.
The affected section of De la Rey Street will need to be closed off from 8h00 to 16:30 on the day of the event. The road will be closed starting from the robots at 17th Street to the south end of De la Rey Street where it meets with Carr Street.
A street parade will open proceedings. A commemorative plaque explaining the significance of the site will be unveiled by the member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development, Clr. Bafana Sithole.
The artwork was commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) for the City of Johannesburg.
Issued on behalf of:
Executive Mayor’s Office
City of Johannesburg
Public Liaison Department
Cell: 082 467 9228