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What do a graffiti artist, Twitter, a design conference and a South African township have in common? They’re all part of #anotherlightup — the latest social media-fuelled campaign hoping to make a difference through the power of public art and crowdfunding.
Launched at this year’s Design Indaba, the #Anotherlightup project is hoping to raise funds to install 80 street lights along a 700 metre path between public water points in Monwabisi Park. It aims to make the neighbourhood safer by ensuring these frequently visited spaces are well-lit at night — especially considering the area sees a spike in crime in the evenings, with 6pm til midnight considered the most dangerous time for adults.
The collaboration between the conference’s non-profit trust, street artist Faith47 and design-maker consultancy Thingking has seen the construction of a mural along one of Cape Town’s main roads, which will act as a barometer to show how close they are to reaching their goal. While tweeting about the initiative using the #Anotherlightup hashtag will light the artwork up momentarily, donations will really make it glow. Every time enough funds are raised for a street light, the mural will light up for the night.
With each light costing R7000 (US$650) to install, the public art installation has far to go. It will take R560 000 (US$51 815) to completely illuminate the walkways in Monwabisi Park — but the team is in for the long haul, setting a six month goal to raise the funds for all the streetlights.