CHR Presents Concrete Picnic and a celebration of CHR's first birthday


"Concrete Picnic", an indoor picnic, bringing the sensibilities and the history of Zoo Lake into the materiality of a concrete space,the former space of CHR located at August House.

This event has been conceptualized and organized by CHR intern, Sanele Manqele, as part of her six-month long internship (May – October 2011). The internship was made possible with the support of Africalia and the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA).

Concrete Picnic references the historical context of the Zoo Lake in Johannesburg. Zoo Lake is a context that is ripe in history and tensions revolving around separate Amenities Act of 1953 passed during apartheid. As a privately owned land the Johannesburg Zoo and Zoo Lake were gifted to the city of Johannesburg on condition that they would remain open to all races, a unique factor that endured throughout apartheid.

The exploration of this notion of segregation and the more recent attempts at integrating of different cultures, races, genders amongst others allows for conversations around the concepts of a shared mental and physical freedom. The question is whether our physical freedom and ability to go wherever we wish and interact as we please, has manifested itself mentality or are we still bound by the effects of rules that existed before?