Beyond Walls project by SAYPE: The largest human chain in the world crosses 3 neighbourhoods in Cape Town, South Africa 2021

Cape Town, warmly known as the Mother City, represents the ninth stage of the global artistic project “Beyond Walls” initiated by Saype in June 2019 in Paris. The “Beyond Walls” project aims at creating the largest symbolic human chain around the world, promoting values such as togetherness, kindness and openness to the world.

The symbolic human chain launched in the city of love, Paris and then travelled to Engolasters in AndorraSaype then stepped into Geneva, Switzerland. Step 4 took the human chain to Berlin, step 5 to Ouagadougou, step 6 to Yamoussoukro and Step 7 to Turin. Step 8 sees Saype link Europe to Asia via Istanbul. Now step 9 crosses 3 neighbourhoods in Cape Town.

South Africa is a country rich in culture and ethnic diversity bound by the spirit of Ubuntu (togetherness). In these unprecedented times, and while the whole world battles the effects and impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, increased political polarization and economic hardships, this spirit of Ubuntu is exactly what is needed.

Striving to recover from the dark time of apartheid, South Africa constitutes a crucial milestone for “Beyond Walls”. The gigantic painted hands symbolize the reconciliation, a pillar of Nelson Mandela’s ethos. They intertwine beyond inequalities, created in fundamentally different areas of the city.  Saype hopes that art may be a modest contribution to reunite a city whose historic scars have not yet healed.

Three frescoes were created using approximately 1000 litres of biodegradable pigments made out of charcoal, chalk, water and milk proteins. Here in Cape Town, step 9 was motivated by the country’s persisting need for reunification.

Three frescoes representing widely different populations and realities within the city were created in Sea Point (6000 sq. m),

the Philippi township (800 sq. m)

and the Langa township (800 sq. m).

This step is carried out in fruitful collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, the International Public Art Festival, Baz-Art, and Cape Town.

Photo credit: Valentin Flauraud for Saype



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