Youth, Identity and the City

September 18, 2018 - October 13, 2018
Top floor
       Arts Foundation / Projects


The project aims to build the capacity of 14 young people from two marginalised communities in Cape Town where poverty, youth unemployment and violence are acute.

The project focuses on the role of young people in the Cape Town city. How do young people understand their position, their community, identity and location (spatially, emotionally and socially) in relation to the city? The central concern of this research project is about the involvement of young people in actively creating safer, more socially just and enabling communities.

The research hopes to gain a better understanding of the relationship between spatial inequality, exclusion and youth identity, by examining how young people from two marginalised communities in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha make sense of and relate to the broader city of Cape Town, spatially,
socially and emotionally and the difficulties they experience in accessing the city.

In this way, the project hopes to build capacity amongst young people in these two communities through leadership and practical skills so that they will understand the important role they play in transforming not only their communities, but the city as a whole.

The project facilitates engagement and builds cohesion across two ethnically diverse groups of young people who are in close proximity geographically, and yet remain very distant in terms
of social interaction and cultural understanding.

Lastly, the work aims to raise awareness amongst policy makers about the particular experiences and needs of young people and to lobby them to implement appropriate policies and
programmes which speak to these.


Dr. Mercy Brown-Luthango