South Africa: Sowetans Skating On Joy

A creative collective has transformed a dumping ground into a skatepark where locals gather to practise tricks, trade stories and make art.

The abandoned street corner opposite Dube Train Station in Soweto used to be a dangerous area to pass through. It was a neglected dumping site, a microcosm of the broader reality.

Then a group of local creatives transformed it. Others, as they call themselves, pooled their efforts to clear away the rubble and litter, and create something new. They named the spot Others Concept Space.

It was to be a collective space where creativity and community would be celebrated. From there, the Life and Living Skatepark was born, and the corner has morphed into a place where the art of skateboarding mingles with music, graffiti, tattooing, design and fashion. It has become a space, where the younger generation can enjoy safety and find inspiration and a sense of belonging.

This is a story of how, born out of necessity and passion, a collective of young men are helping to change the area and country in which they live.

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