1955 Films presents: Solidarity? Revealing the Everyday Lived Reality of Covid-19 in Kliptown, Soweto hosted by Athabasca University, RAIC Centre for Architecture
This film has been shot and driven by the people living the story, a sovereign group from squatter camps and aca-demia. It shows the urgency of today’s pandemic set within a neighborhood of shacks that has been neglected by the government for decades. Ours is both a very human story and a radical shift in stakeholder solidarity. The film draws on Steve Biko’s argument for the critical connection between community and culture, and his commitment to a form of activism that manifests in real life community development projects responding to community identified need. The character of the film’s narrative reflects the historic lineage of theatre’s role in South African civic discourse and its pivotal shift from a voice of protest to a stage of r
On the 26th of June 1955, a crowd from all over South Africa gathered in Kliptown, Soweto for the Congress of the People. At that meeting The Freedom Charter was drawn up and signed. It stated a set of principles that became a symbol for the anti-apartheid struggle and later the core of South Africa’s post apartheid constitution.
1955 Films is part of 1955 LLC, a social enterprise startup in Kliptown. Our name is a reference to the essence and meaning of South Africa’s Freedom Charter and reflects our belief that its core tenets are an avenue to empowering communities. We are a sovereign mix of innovative social entrepreneurs from the ghetto and academia. We are very intentionally not a charity or an NGO. 1955 is the radical brainchild of longtime friends and colleagues who met 8 years ago as a post doctoral fellow and a group of residents from the Kliptown shack communities Freedom Charter Square and Race Course. What drew us together were our passions for social equity and creativity. To this day we continually learn from each other in grappling with socio-economic, racial, knowledge and institutional hierarchies, or simply in sharing favourite music or a meal.
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