The Hotel Yeoville Project has just opened to the public in the brand new public library on Raleigh Street. Hotel Yeoville is not a hotel! It’s a community website and an interactive art project available for the use of residents of Yeoville and Bellevue. Adding a new frequency to the trans-continental whispers upstairs at the new library, Hotel Yeoville is a ground-breaking public art project which, by way of freshly designed digital interfaces, keys into the diversity of immigrant and South African experiences that make the legendary suburb of Yeoville such a hot melting pot.
Come into the library at the specific hours mentioned below, and check it out! Raphael Bope, Godfrey Tshis Talabulu, and Brittany Wheeler are there to show you around and guide you through how to use it.
The Hotel Yeoville project warmly invites you to :
- Use the Story Booth to practise your skills as a writer. You can tell stories about home, love, Jo’burg, childhood, dreams, loss, longing and more.
- Use the Journey Booth to zoom in right close to the place that you were born, and map your roots and journeys across Africa and beyond.
- Take a snap with a sweetheart or your friend, or your brother (even, your mother!) in the Love Booth, and get to take a photo home with you.
- Make a short movie in the Video Booth to upload to YouTube. You can sing, tell a story, perform a short play, talk abut the World Cup or just simply get something off your chest!
- Use the Directory Booth to place free advertisements. You can sell an old fridge, or a lounge suite, look for jobs and accommodation, advertise your business, and offer up your skills. You can also find lists of community organisations, national associations, notice boards and more.
- Use the Website to find all sorts of useful information. You can find the contact details of a free legal advice service, find out about health services and schools, read an up to date refugee and immigrant survival guide, or read an article on how to start a small business.
- Join Hotel Yeoville’s Facebook Group and if there is an issue you are burning to discuss, just send it to the
to place up on the discussion Forums.
- Use the Skills Exchange board to offer French lessons to somebody in exchange for lessons in English. Or exchange bookkeeping skills for a fabulous haircut!
The exhibition and website will start to take shape through public participation in each private booth. By sharing snippets from your everyday lives, experience, loves, losses, gains, dreams and desires, you will contribute to building a social map of the pan-African suburb in which you live. At the same time, you will add to the development of the website’s community and social networks and resources.
The Hotel Yeoville project is curated and directed by Johannesburg-based artist Terry Kurgan, in partnership
with the Forced Migration Studies Programme at the University of the
Witwatersrand. To produce the exhibition in the library she has collaborated with Tegan Bristow,
an artist and interactive digital media developer who designed and built many
of the self-documenting applications housed in all the beautiful ‘booths’. In
turn, they worked closely with Alexander Opper and Amir Livneh of Notion Architects who transformed
the virtual spaces of the 'Hotel Yeoville' project's website into a real-space
and real-time exhibition experience. Artist Guylain Melki, designed and
produced all the paintings and signage that decorate the walls of each booth.
The project as a whole aims to address themes of migration, the
idiosyncrasies of place and the threat of xenophobia by tapping into the cohesive
role of the Internet café as a diasporic hub. It
was developed in close collaboration with a hybrid mix of professionals, from
architects to community activists, Internet café owners, artists, academic
researchers, photographers, urban planners, social scientists, Web developers
and more. Hailing from across the African continent and the globe, each of them
has shaped the project in different ways, keying into its core ethic – to
inhabit difference, learn the art of tolerance in a mixed up world and overcome
the impulse to hate by getting to grips with what you fear. The project aims to
explore the roots of difference, attempting to give public airtime to the
everyday conversations of a mix of South Africans, migrants, refugees and
Yeoville is a project designed to make people feel at home wherever they find
BUT FOR THIS WE REALLY TRULY NEED YOU!!! COME IN AND CHECK IT OUT!
Hotel Yeoville Project
At the new Yeoville Public Library
51-53 Raleigh Street, Yeoville
Monday to Thursday: 1 pm - 5 pm
Friday and Saturday : 9 am – 1 pm
THANK YOU TO MANY PEOPLE WHO WORKED AT DIFFERENT STAGES AND ON DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THE PROJECT:
First and foremost to urban practitioner John Spiropoulos who has helped conceptualize, shape and manage the project from its inception. And then, in no particular order the following people have played bigger and smaller roles but have collectively contributed to the making of the project: George Lebone, Ginibel Mabih, Terry Kurgan, Tegan Bristow, Alexander Opper, Amir Livneh, Jason Hobbs, Siphiwe Zwane, Belinda Blignault, Michael Onyeneto, Raphael Bope, Caroline Kihato, Lael Bethlehem, Loren Landau, Greg Ilchenko, Andrew Graaff, Clint Cordon, PhotoBoof! and Alec Bennet, Richard Stupart, Sian Miranda Singh OFaolain, Brittany Wheeler, Godfrey Tshis Talabulu, Maurice Smithers, Tanya Zack and the staff of the Yeoville library.
Thank you to: The Ford Foundation, Goethe Institut, National Arts Council, and Johannesburg Development Agency for their extremely generous support of this project.