A Still Life is a collaborative initiative led by Taryn Millar, Sarah Cairns and Aarti Shah who use artistic processes to reconsider relationships between nature, people and place. For the Social Impact Art Prize, A Still Life will be working with artist Hannelie Coetzee to realise the second iteration of a project that considers the inner life of dead and dying trees. The project isolates three trees in Johannesburg infected with polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) beetle, which is said to threaten around 30% of the ‘man-made forest’. The trees will be used as a lens through which to interpret the ecosystem of human, plant and city life that makes up this complex and interconnected urban environment.
Mpumelelo Buthelezi is a photographer from Johannesburg whose project, E’Plazini, asks questions about the nature of ‘work’ in relation to informal waste collection. “What counts as work? What is ‘important’ work, and who is dignified through that work?” Colloquially referred to as ‘waste pickers’, recyclers in South Africa collect, sort and sell materials such as card, plastic, glass and metal, diverting recyclable and reusable waste from landfills.
Doba-Dash is a 3D combat racing game developed by SpaceSalad Studios that draws attention to the daring environmental work of informal waste collectors or ‘Street Surfers’. With its roots in the Zulu word for ‘collect’ or ‘pick up’, Doba-Dash gamifies the experience of informal recycling as it plays out on South Africa’s streets.