The construction of the platform stage and the cultural programming connected with it represent an example of place-making – a process through which a group gains recognition in society by creating a physical space for themselves. This is why the platform captured the imagination of the residents and, in a way, expresses the whole idea of Ubuntu Park. The platform was first used at the Soweto Street Festival, and there have been other cultural programmes since. Recently, we heard that a teacher is using the stage regularly for dance practice, singing, and poetry readings with schoolchildren as after-school activities. The stage has become a symbol for a new appreciation of the local culture and affirmation of the community’s identity.
The platform was built with a minimal budget, a fact that proved to be an advantage for both us and the residents: it was an exercise in giving value to human resources.
The platform was built with no permit, on a no-man’s land that existed beyond the enforcement of municipal regulations. In this vacuum, the non-space became a site of possibilities, where the community could imagine a new kind of public space: a community-organized public space.