This new collection has a different stance. The Trashy Range has been brewing for a few years, inspired by both our love and our fury. Messy streets, municipal strikes, weekend aftermaths and the informal recyclers whose routes are the backdrop to the story.
Like many developing countries, South Africa's waste management system is dependent on informal recyclers. They are difficult to miss in Johannesburg. Pushing and pulling hundreds of kilograms, they make a living by collecting, sorting and selling our trash. From their daily routes they know the city's streets intimately. They also understand recycling and the difference between paper and plastic better than your average citizen.
The recyclers are as iconic as our trees and towers, which is why we wanted to make a series of t-shirts representing them. We asked three of Joburg's top graphic designers – David Tshabalala, Phindile Thengeni and Sphiwe Giba – for their interpretations of these humble heroes.
After many kilometers on Johannesburg's harsh roads, they arrive at a "Cash for Scrap" centre where their day's collections are weighed and sold. We collaborated with photographer Brooklyn Jové Pakathi to shoot David, Phindile and Sphiwe modeling their t-shirts at one such depot in downtown Jozi.
As part of our Recycling Johannesburg series, we collaborated with graphic and textile designer Sphiwe Giba. Originally from Tsakane in Ekurhuleni, Sphiwe worked in the advertising and design industries before forming his own company, Juxtapoz. In 2014 he was a Design Indaba Emerging Creative, and a City of Joburg Sculpture Design recipient. His body of work and clean design style shows his true understanding of finding creative solutions for brands, events and homeware.
As part of our Recycling Johannesburg series, we collaborated with designer Phindile Thengeni, a Free State born, Joburg based visual artist. Phindile has a real rebellious streak which paves her way of living. She uses design, photography and fashion styling as her artistic outlets, and regularly exhibits using Instagram instabitions. Phindile is a restless creative, and spent 2016 studying culinary arts to reinvent herself as an upcoming chef.
As part of our Recycling Johannesburg series, we collaborated with designer David Tshabalala, co-founder of creative collective Suketchi. Originally from Harrismith in the Free State, David is now a great addition to the Jozi design scene. His illustration style is pop-inspired and influenced by 90s fashion and colours. He was one of Mail & Guardian's Young South Africans in 2015, and a Design Indaba Emerging Creative in 2014, amongst his other accolades.
"Can you please make us a huge Love Jozi Skyline out of hundreds of books?"
"Um... yes, why not...".
Ask us nicely and we will do anything. Especially if it's at Turbine Hall and conceptualised by Breinstorm.
The 7 metre installation was built in 8 hours using 1600 books donated by participating publishers at the SA Book Fair.
We cheated only twice with some fine plywood renditions of the towers. Photos by Phumi Kunene from David Krut Publishers.
Like any big city, the Johannesburg skyline has its definitive landmarks. But unlike any other metropolis, you can't visit or pose directly under these icons because access isn't allowed.
The Hillbrow and Brixton Towers stand proud in Johannesburg, beaming out the identity and badge of the city. They provide a backdrop to our story. Shrouded with mystery, they suggest a hint of deceit and the forbidden, once close, now faraway; a con of the eye.
Love Jozi's 16th t-shirt range focuses on these elusive monuments, going closer to reveal what was once concealed, touching the abstract, rendering emblems. The designs not only attack, but revamp the established and stereotypical representation of Johannesburg’s industrial shrines, going where others dare not go, bringing the untouchable nearer to the t-shirt wearer.
Love Jozi collaborated with photojournalist and visual artist Dean Hutton to shoot this range.