Johannesburg Lasts

Johannesburg Lasts is a creative research project that looks at what it means to be a last in the agglomeration of infrastructure, institutions, plant, animal and human activity that makes up the greater environment of the city. 

Considering the concepts of last, lasting and lost, we question toxic legacies and hierarchies and attempt to rethink contemporary urban spaces and their “lastingness”. From gated communities and leafy green suburbs lined by once-foreign forestry, to communities living with mine dumps embodying the noxious afterlives of the city’s founding industry, Johannesburg Lasts investigates what it means for something to last as the ghosts of apartheid’s legacy linger in the public and private spaces of the African metropolis. At the same time, the project follows what forms of growing and repurposing are taking place as electricity and water are running out. 

Focusing on issues of land, air, infrastructure and plants, Johannesburg Lasts speculates on what new species of animal, human and vegetable will grow from concrete, poisoned earth and air specific to Johannesburg. Led by a collective of artists working together as a research community, this special edition of [] Ellipses Journal for creative research will focus on spaces that the contemporary city often forgets, in order to generate new projects.