The Atlantis Project          

'Atlantis, aerial view, apartheid housing, circa 1980

The new phase of Very Real Time takes as a departure point, the problem of distance and access as it effects the inhabitants in the remoter suburbs of both Paris and Cape Town. The initial anchorage for the project is in the Cape Town suburb of Atlantis.

Located 70 kilometres north of Cape Town, Atlantis is a phenomenon of the forced removals of the apartheid era in the city. Between the 1960’s and 80’s, non-white families living in mixed-racial neighborhoods close to the city were moved to newly constructed outlying suburbs. Communities were not simply broken up, but generations of families were separated. This meant that children grew up untended by grandparents, while their parents traveled long distances to and from work. This led directly to problems of gangsterism, drug-dealing and addiction, which continue plague these suburbs. Economic crises have only exacerbated these problems in recent years. The two hours of travel to and from the city, the nearest point of employment is a ongoing obstacle.

The Atlantis Project focuses on the relationship between with the voice, the body and urban acoustics. Performance, video and social media are used to enable new perceptions of personal narratives and the way in which these are inscribed in the urban history. The project is being developed simultaneously with high schools in Atlantis and in Paris (France). Pilot workshops will be carried out in both cities in early 2019.  

In Cape Town, the project is being developed in close collaboration with A4 Arts Foundation and Impact Media Youth Hub in Atlantis. The long-term goal here, is the development of the Media Hub as a means of employment, expression and self-empowerment for young people, introducing them to journalism and media techniques.

The Atlantis Project has received initial development funding from the Direction Régionale des affaires culturelles d'Île-de-France.