The International Public Art Festival (IPAF) recently announced the launch of the Beyond Walls project by French-Swiss artist Saype which features Cape Town as the latest city to form part of the longest human chain in the world.
Yes, IPAF, which is one of Africa’s largest public art festivals, said that the chain is depicted through pairs of local hands painted on land, which intertwine from town to town. The murals represent unity, mutual aid and common effort beyond geographical constraints.
According to IOL, the project previously depicted hands in Paris, Andorre, Genève, Berlin, Ouagadougou, Yamoussoukro, Turin and Istanbul. Cape Town represents the ninth stage and therefore, three Cape Town suburbs — Sea Point, Langa and Philippi — were used as a canvas for the French-Swiss artist whose real name is Guillaume LeGros.
Beyond Walls symbolises the breaking down of political and social barriers among communities with the hope to encourage positive dialogue.
“The idea is to create the biggest human chain, to speak about togetherness and today in Cape Town this is the ninth step of that project,” Saype, who was born Guillaume Legros, told Reuters. “For me, it is very interesting to speak about togetherness here, because I think it was a pillar of Mandela’s dream,” he said of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela.
It is said that Saype uses a special eco-friendly mixture of chalk, charcoal and water with a milk protein as the glue to allow the paint to adhere to the ground.
The project, which kicked off as a precursor to the main event on 25 January at the Sea Point promenade, is carried out in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, the City of Cape Town and Baz-Art. IPAF will run from 10 to 14 February.