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South Africa

You are only moments away

IIf calamity were to strike humanity, and archaeologists of a distant future were to enquire about how we lived, they would draw upon our architecture to paint a picture of who we were.

They would wander along the narrow traces of our townships, marvel at our resilience in the face of adversity. They would comb through the delicate ruins and begin to imagine the sounds and smells, imagine the dark wending spaces, the makeshift soccer fields bubbling with the laughter of children, the sound of communities debating their future in municipal buildings.

They would find our cities, admire the layers of the history of occupation captured in the friezes of the facades of buildings in urban historic cores, they would imagine the dynamic streets of Cape Town and Johannesburg, and the festive beachfront of Durban. They might come across artwork, captured in the art district of Woodstock and Salt River in Cape Town, the re-imagined warehouses speaking to a lost textile industry but born again as a place of architectural, cultural and urban renewal. They would marvel at the diversity of cuisine, the richness of the culture, and the excellence of certain aspects of the architectural design - the modesty, the shrewdness, the bravado. The contrast of the various architectures of the city would be delightful as well as complex; the architecture would reveal the substantial design talent of the country, but also highlight the struggle to address inequality, the great challenge of their time.

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