Sustainability, collaboration, creativity and compassion are the foundation of the V&A Waterfront’s festive season this year.
The 2020 festive period is preceded by months of global upheaval, extended moments of isolation and change that few of us could predict or control. This year, the V&A Waterfront is creating a sense of neighbourly belonging and shared thanksgiving, marking it with a symbolic African Tree of Hope as the centrepiece of its message. “The Tree of Hope will be presented as our symbol of joy and outreach to our community with a lighting of its lanterns,” explains Tinyiko Mageza, Executive Manager for Marketing at the V&A Waterfront.
Continuing the theme of Joy from Africa to the World, the internationally renowned destination, which became the first in the world to produce sustainable festive decor last year, has now recycled it once again for this year’s festive displays and installations to delight visitors. Decor will come to life under the creative direction of Platform Creative Agency who are this year’s Business and Arts South Africa’s Innovation Awards winners, as well as South African Council of Shopping Centres Footprint Awards’ Bronze Award winners for Community Relations. Platform Creative Agency is a company focused on growing and promoting the South African design, lifestyle and cultural industries, and this year, 134 crafters and designers have contributed to spreading hope and light through festive decor.
“Our ambition when we announced our commitment to sustainability in 2017 was to reduce the use of single-use plastic across the precinct by 40% by 2020,” says Tinyiko. “We are some way to achieving this working together with our tenants.” This year’s festive decorations are once again the result of a collaborative effort between local artists, makers, tenants and children from community programmes, who will use the platform to showcase their work to the large number of visitors expected to pass through the precinct during the festive season.
Collaborators this year include the likes of illustrator and graphic designer Phathu Nembilwi; Janet Ormond of Bokke & Blomme, who creates inspirational wooden words, decor accessories and patchwork designs that are all locally produced in Cape Town; sustainable textile designer Sindiso Khumalo, who will bring joy on the children’s walkway with bold and distinctly African mannequin designs; and Davis Ndungu, whose unique creations, such as recycled flip flop garlands will delight visitors to the Watershed.
Decor features will not only continue in the bold direction of expressing the aesthetic of holiday joy through a distinctly African lens but will also introduce tech-forward ways to enjoy them, such as QR-coded installations that tell the story of each piece and its creator, virtual tours of the shopping centre’s festive displays and live streaming of activities and events. This year, everyone from Hong Kong to Hout Bay can enjoy Africa’s take on the meaning of festive joy.
The year 2020 has reminded us as a collective that sometimes the intangible is the most valuable, that joy is the fuel of life. Now that we come back together to rebuild and to reconnect, the V&A Waterfront looks forward to sharing the best of local design, art and culture within its neighbourhood.
The V&A Waterfront will be operating under the latest COVID-19 protocols and guidelines as issued by the National Government under Lockdown Level 1. Visitors are reminded to at all times keep their safety and health and that of others around them in mind, to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while in public spaces, to practice social distancing, and to sanitise their hands frequently.
For more information and to view a full list of this year’s activities, visit the V&A Waterfront website.