“WHY WOULD WE NEED GALLERIES TO EXHIBIT OUR CREATIVE WORKS WHEN OUR ART FORM IS GROOMED IN THE STREETS?”
It’s late in the afternoon. You’re slowly meandering down a river of post nine to five traffic as it flows between banks of concrete lined by tall buildings. The sun is setting and you are lost in your thoughts. The reflected glint of dusk hued sunlight reflecting off the triple glazed windows of some business premises or other permits you a glimpse of why Johannesburg is called the city of gold.
A small, strong wind repeatedly blows into the car in short rapid bursts, a taxi hoots (at what only a few have ever deciphered) and you look up out of the kiddie pool of thoughts you had been lounging in to see a team of fearless skate boarders coasting through traffic like the Silver surfer does the cosmos.
You think to yourself WTF? Are those guys crazy? Do they have medical aid, or a death wish?
The answer is most definitely NO to all of the above.
What they do have is a desire to experience life to the fullest, to be free from any conventional constraints, to push themselves to the limits of their ability and to excel only in being their best. This is what I’ve come to learn from being in the midst of the skating community.
This is an introduction to The One Love Collective.
The One Love Collective are a group of youths that are changing the face of the inner city, utilising spaces that most would pass in a blink of an eye and disregard as waste even faster than that.
A non-profit organisation geared towards the promotion of skate boarding in, but not limited to, the inner city communities.
Through a diversity of endeavours the One Love Collective directs its energy towards the empowerment, education and upliftment of the youth through the medium of skate boarding. The development of young people with the capacity to utilise their inherent potential to overcome the challenges of life and growing up in the testing context of the African urban environment.
The aptly named moving indoor skate park, The Void, is one of their principle projects. Currently in its third manifestation, The Void has recently been opened again in the Maboneng Precinct of Jeppestown Johannesburg. In a place defined by the regeneration of underutilised space, the One Love Collective is redefining the definition. Inhabiting places determined as empty ‘voids’ yet to be filled by the dominating expansion that is Maboneng, the One Love Collective’s mobile indoor skate park has been and continues to create a safe haven for inner city kids to develop and refine their skating skills.
Hand built and home grown, the park is an evolving manifestation of the grittiness and drive that defines the City of Gold.
If you want to #EnterTheVoid: kick, push and coast your way over to 308 Fox Str. at the T.F.E House across the street from the only skate shop in the inner-city Home Grwn.
You can follow the continuing story of the One Love Collective through the following channels: