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How a South African Artist Blends Art and Urbanization

In her latest project, Svea Josephy uses blueprints to explore a city’s spaces.
A 3-D model of Kuwait
A 3-D model of KuwaitSvea Josephy

In much of her work, Svea Josephy, an associate professor at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art, examines how urbanization can be explored through art. One of her most well-known exhibitions, “Satellite Cities,” explores the parallel between towns in South Africa and their namesake cities in other parts of the world: one photo set contrasts the National Library in Pristina, Kosovo, with the Kosovo settlement in Cape Town. “Blueprints,” a recent project, examines how cities are laid out and tries to probe the reasoning behind those decisions. While mapping the project, Josephy was able to clearly see the infrastructural barriers of segregation.

She spoke to CityLab about her work, urban planning in South Africa, and how art can help viewers think critically about cities.