[ISEA2018] Paper: Mikhail Peppas & Sanabelle Ebrahim — City Identity for Durban: Port with a Green Heart


Short Paper

Keywords: Smart City-Port, Green Heart Sculpture Sky Icon, KulturWalk, African fantasy, ‘Heart2Heart’ Route, Green Economy, SanKofa BooK Bridge, city branding, place-identity, placemaking.

Durban is the busiest port in Africa. Although the harbour is somewhat removed from the consciousness of the residents, it is well-positioned to become a driving force to propel Durban into a Smart City Eco-Port with linkages to the Esplanade that curves around the bay. The ‘Green Heart’ title can be anchored by constructing a giant green heart sculpture at the entrance to the harbour (North Pier) that links into the Esplanade. The sculpture will impact the skyline and serve as a prominent symbol for Durban. Apps, QR codes and electronic signage featured in the KulturWalk and ‘Heart2Heart’ Route guide people into the harbour area. The theoretical framework builds on place-identity and placemaking that foreground the branding of Durban as Green Heart City and include the residents in taking custody and care of the harbour. Renewable elements of the Green Heart Sculpture Sky Icon include wave power technology and solar film energy. An accessible Durban Harbour will foster an invigorated identity for the Eco-Port and endear the public with a sense of place attachment. As Durban firms its position on tourist maps, people will identify Durban through branding created by the Green Heart and the spectacular harbour.

  • Mikhail Peppas, media entrepreneur and film historian,  holds a PhD in Visual Anthropology. He is an Honorary Research Associate in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the Durban University of Technology. Peppas was awarded the 2017 Simon ‘Mabhunu’ Sabela Film and Television Award for Lifetime Achievement. Firsts for Africa originated by Peppas include: a film school called the Free Film School and a community television station, Greater Durban Television (GDTV). He received an Academic & Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA) Grant for the book and documentary project, ‘The  History of the Moving Image in KwaZulu-Natal’. Eco-art practitioner.
  • Sanabelle Ebrahim is based in Green Heart City Durban. She holds a Master of Social Science degree in Cultural and Media Studies. Her interests include Deaf culture, sign language, city identity, placemaking, graphic novels, poetry, board games, shared value entrepreneurship, publishing and sustainable living activations.

Full text p. 302 – 306