Slovo Hall is one of several initiatives of the Slovo Park Project , which began as a small research project in the University of Pretoria’s Architectural Honours Year to expose the students the issues faced by South Africa’s urban poor.
The process culminated in a joint a built project between the residens of Slovo Park and the students, with not only a physical product, but many intangible outcomes that extended beyond simply ‘another community project’.
This hall and civic area would provide the people of Slovo Park with a place for them to meet and determine the future for themselves.
Slovo Park Community Development Forum, Slovo Park Business Forum, Carin Combrinck, Jhono Bennett, Jacqueline Cuyler, Isabel Van Wyk De Gouveia, Claudia Fillipe, Linda Makgubutlane, Carla Taljaard, Yolandi Viljoen, Omar Horzook, Tuliza Sindi, Abbey Walsh, Kiana Martins, Clare Hughes, Ingmar Buchner, Tialise Taljaard, Alexander Melck
Slovo Park is situated in a politically and socially sensitive stretch of land south of Soweto. The community has been known by national government as Nancefield, by local council as Olifantsvlei and in the last five years as Slovo Park named in honour of South Africa’s first minister of housing and former Umkhonto we Sizwe General, Joe Slovo.
This forced changing of identity reflects an on-going struggle faced by the leadership of Slovo Park to gain recognition as a legitimate settlement to access governmental support. This battle has been fought through constant shifts in governmental policy, power and promises for the community of Slovo Park. Amidst the struggle, stories of sinister land dealings have emerged, outlining a possible truth that the ground beneath Slovo Park could have been sold from under the community’s feet. These allegations surface as the leadership of Slovo Park prepares itself to take action.
The original student group and subsequent projects facilitated by 1to1 - Agency of Engagement have been undertaken through participative research an design exercise.
The meetings vary between large 'community meetings' that take place to discuss bigger issues in Slovo and smaller focuss groups with various members fo the organised social structures in Slovo Park.
These exercises take form in workshops and organised session to unpack and determine the spatial and scial needs of each stage of the project - with more intense design discussion and debates often takeing place on the building site with make shift models and sketching tecniques.