We are at war. South Africans are constantly battling against history [with a capital ‘H’] – our perception of the city is stained, class divisions are violently [re]enforced by city architecture and the overwhelming culture of fear. An apt example of this is Hillbrow, where, despite massive social and structural changes within the area, it remains a no man’s land for outside communities. This exposes the underlying social barrier, that as a society we are strangers in our own cities.
‘Glitching The City’ is motivated by enabling community collective voice through the archiving of personal narratives, and mapping this digital information over the corresponding physical place using augmented reality as a medium. Augmented reality can be used as a powerful tool for empathy generation and self expression, because it is tactile and immediate, yet engaging rather than confrontational.
This creates a glitch: disturbing the comfortable boxing of places and Others; it is a meaningful use of technology and a shift in digital content for self generated expression. This project envisions a decolonisation and de-westernisation of the perception of contemporary urbanity and fits within a larger framework of re-inscribing authentic histories over the prevailing language of fear – for both the physical and the digital.