Who’s painting Joburg pink?

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What is going on here?

In what is surely some kind of public art campaign, somebody is painting the Joburg inner city pink. It seems to be mostly abandoned buildings that are getting the pink treatment, and it seems to have something to do with this tumblr, Beware Of Colour

However, even that site is not particularly forthcoming with a group manifesto or anything that will explain why pink? And why Joburg?

The act reminded us of the public art act visited upon New York’s Brooklyn Bridge by the crew that swopped the two US flags for two white ones. But this is different.

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There is a hashtag that says #Johannesburgpublicart So we went on Twitter and entered that. Nothing. On Instagram? Nothing.

Then we checked back one last time, and there it was – some kind of artist’s statement! “This is an urban experiment,” the people responsible said before launching into a poetic plea for the resurrection of the city’s forgotten buildings. It’s quite a read. “We look at buildings that have been left behind by time and we caress their walls with our paint brushes,” they say.

We’re not sure who “they” are, but we’re intrigued.

Writer for television, print and digital, corporate and editorial. Editor and writer of books. Musical performance, spoken word as Inspector Ras. Guitar/vocals for The Near Misses, (Worst Band In JoburgTM). The last whitey at umsebenzi. Latest book 415 Action-Packed Neighbourhood Marketing Tips with Basil O'Hagan, out now. @hagenengler

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