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Education Through Public Art: The"Break The Silence" Print Portfolio / Billboard Project

Sabine Marschall


Public art, as opposed to ‘fine art’ destined for the gallery, has always had a special social responsibility towards the general public, whose living or working environment it is occupying. However, in the current post-apartheid South African context, both the ‘general public’ and the ‘social responsibility’ are differently defined than in previous decades, when an abstract outdoor sculpture, such as Eduardo Villa’s, would be set up to ‘beautify’ the city centre and “edify” - to use Frieda Harmson’s (1985:111) words - “the majority of the citizens for whom it was made.” As opposed to the time of Harmson’s writing, when South African cities were still segregated and black Africans were not considered citizens, public art today, especially when funded with public sources, must take into account, and address itself to, the majority of the citizens in the true sense of the word.

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Ijele: Art eJournal of the African World. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editor: Nkiru Nzegwu; Film Review Editor: Phyllis J. Jackson; Exhibition/Curator & Book Review Editor: Azuka Nzegwu

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