I was fortunate to get invited to attend the launch of Visa’s #myeverywhere campaign. The event was held at The Sheds @ 1 Fox street in the middle of Joburg city. I love going to that market, the food and atmosphere is just incredible! #Myeverywhere is a video campaign where you submit videos showing your favourite secret and special spots in your city/town around South Africa.
Gerald, from Joburg Places, spoke at the event about the history of The Sheds and the regeneration of the city. Man, this guy is passionate about this place. It was such a treat listening to him speak about the city. And actually, he doesn’t refer to Joburg as the CBD anymore… he reckons that’s Sandton. Joburg to him is a collection of different villages and each village has it’s own story and characteristics. The Sheds is in Ferreirasdorp.
Now if you know me, you know how passionate I am about the city, but I really don’t know the history like this guy does, I really need to learn more.
As part of the afternoon, he took us on a short 30 minute guided walk. We literally walked 500m from The Sheds, to the Magistrates Courts and Mandela’s old law offices Chancellor House… and back again. My goodness, it was fascinating! I’ve walked in that area plenty of times, and in fact, I’ve been on a photowalk with Marcia and Louisa on that road too. Even though we appreciated the sites and the buildings and our surroundings, there’s something special about listening to stories about the history of that small area. It makes it all mean so much more.
The Sheds are revamped mining sheds, which in the height of the gold mining industry in Johannesburg, stored dynamite! I love their second lease on life.
There’s a street museum at Chancellor House. Photos and stories are displayed in the windows for everyone to read.
We spent quite a lot of time here. Gerald only explained 3 of the photos on display. I must say that without his stories the photos just had little meaning to me. It’s all very well to read the blurb next to the image, but he took us through the history and explained the context properly.
This angle was fascinating to me. Gerald took us across the road to show us how the statue has been placed between the 2 old Dutch statues… telling a new story as a layer against the history of our legal system. His point, instead of tearing down the old statues we should use them in situ with statues showing our recent past and the “new” history.
I didn’t realise that Chancellor House was only revamped in 2010! It’s crazy that until then, the building was derelict and filled with squatting families. I’m sure if I dig in my photo archives I’ll find a photo from one of my first photowalks in the city with Chancellor House’s pre-revamped look. I’m almost positive I’ve taken photos of it before.
I couldn’t resist taking some street photos while I was walking around 😉
I’m dead keen to do one of the Joburg Places walks now.