Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Integrated Waste Exchange

City of Cape Town has a Waste Exchange initiative! Here's a quote from the website:

What is IWEX?

IWEX (Integrated Waste Exchange) is a free online system that enables waste generators and users to exchange waste materials. Operating on the principle that ‘one person’s garbage is another person’s gold,' IWEX facilitates the re-use of waste, thereby conserving energy, minimising resource use and reducing the pressure on Cape Town's landfill space. The service is freely available to anyone who generates or uses waste, including companies, individuals, institutions, schools, NGOs and community groups.

It's super easy - you register and are immediately able to log in, add your waste materials that you have available, and can look right away at waste materials that other individuals, companies or organizations have available.

Let's make use of this initiative to reuse and recycle! Go to www.capetown.gov.za/en/iwex

WARP at the Grahamstown Festival

1-10 JULY 2011




in hyperbolic crochet

Woodstock Art Reef Project, Cape town

Satellite of the worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project
created by: Margaret and Christine Wertheim
of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles.



Friday, June 24, 2011


Enjoyable and informative eco-art workshops for children will be presented at Kirstenbosch by Sue Nepgen, art and environmental educationalist. Activities on the theme of ‘A Joyful Look at Plants and Water’ include an introductory discussion, a guided walk next to the shallow waterways and other relevant parts of the Garden, as well as video-microscope investigation of plants and aquatic life. The highlight of the session is the creating by each child of their own artistically painted 3-D clay model of landscapes with rivers, including indigenous plants and other modelling materials. Opportunities for watercolour painting will form part of the session. Experienced assistants will be at hand to ensure safety and individual attention.

Gold Fields Environmental Education Centre, Kirstenbosch

Dates, times and fees:
Grades 1-3: Tuesday 5th or Wednesday 6th July, 9.30 am – 1 pm. Cost: R90.
Grades 4-8: Thursday 7th July, 9.00 am - 1 pm. Cost: R95.

There are a limited number of partial or full bursaries available.

Booking details:
Contact Michaela or Sue at 021-7946609 or email snepgen@xsinet.co.za

Monday, June 20, 2011

Woodstock Art Reef Project needs YOU


There is a lot of work to be done to make sure pieces can stand-up, hang down or be tied in position - some need extra support like stuffing or wire re-inforcing, sewing in loose ends..... If you have spare time to join in the effort at the BLUE SHED in the waterfront, you will be most welcome!

There is lots else to get in place as well....
contact Maria at O72 648 0818 to make sure she's at the SHED when you want to join in - please sms if needed.

Moving Things Film Festival at Out the Box 2011


Out the Box Festival of Puppetry and Visual Performance is calling for dynamic, creative stop-motion and puppetry films for the MOVING THINGS FILM FESTIVAL, which will take place from 3-11 September in Cape Town, South Africa.

Out The Box is South Africa’s premier Puppetry and Visual Performance Festival, and this will be the third year of this unique film festival and the sixth exciting year of Out the Box.

Films will be screened at the Independent Labia Cinema on Orange Street in Gardens, Cape Town. Moving Things 2011 will host a number of workshops and master-classes with talented stop-motion animators.

If you are interested in submitting a film for Out the Box 2011, please download and complete an application form by clicking here

Want more info? – Contact the festival office at + 27 21 462 5811 or visit www.unimasouthafrica.org/moving-things

Limitations? – Only your imagination!
A MAXIMUM OF FIVE FILMS per artist will be considered.
Deadline for submissions: 15 July 2011

This call for participation was released by Unima South Africa, in their UNIMA SA Newsletter

Sunday, June 19, 2011

JULY DESIGN WORKSHOP by Karen Suskin, Haldane Martin, Helen van Zyl

Nominations open for ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals

Nominations open for ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is recognising and celebrating excellence in South African arts, culture and creativity.

ACT is now open for nominations for the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals which will be presented at the 14th annual ACT Awards. Artists up to the age of 30 years that fall within the first three years of their professional careers are eligible for nomination.

"The encouragement and acknowledgement of excellence is of utmost importance to the future of South African creativity. ACT is grateful to the Distell Foundation for sponsoring the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals and we value the opportunity to support emerging artists and enhance excellence in the sector," says Pieter Jacobs, General Manager of ACT.

Emerging artists at a time in their careers when they have shown commitment to and reached some professional standing in their chosen discipline may be nominated in one of four categories:

  • Visual Art (Painting and Printmaking, Sculpting, Public Installations & Photography)
  • Performing Arts (Dance, Acting, Musical Theatre & Physical Theatre)
  • Music & Singing (Classical, Contemporary & Jazz)
  • Design (Craft, Graphic Design, Fashion Design & Web Design)

Winners of the ImpACT Awards are selected by an independent panel of judges. Awards will only be presented if a satisfactory number of quality nominations are received in the various categories and the adjudication panel reserves the right to carry over such awards to the following year.

The closing date for nominations is 29 July 2011. For guidelines and nomination forms please visit the ACT website at www.act.org.za.

The highlight of the Awards Ceremony is the presentation of three Lifetime Achievement Awards to luminaries for their lifelong contribution to theatre, music and visual arts in South Africa. Past recipients of this accolade include Miriam Makeba, John Kani, Gcina Mhlope, Ronnie Govender, Peter Clarke, and David Koloane amongst others. Lifetime Achievement Winners are nominated and selected by the ACT Board of Trustees.

The 14th annual ACT Awards is presented in partnership with the Vodacom Foundation, the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO), the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) and is supported by the Distell Foundation, Classicfeel Magazine and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011





Woodstock Art Reef Project (WARP) Presentation & Crochet Art Works show case plus a talk about sustainable fishing during the Alliance Française ‘Green Week’.

19h00 : WARP Presentation
by Leonie Hofmeyr-Juritz

20h00 : « Fish with a Future »
talk on sustainable fishing and the SASSI inititiative by Chef Pete Goffe-Wood

WARP participants will present a crochet sit-in during the evening


A small installation of corals in progress will be showcased for the duration of the Green Week 7-10 June 2011.

Woodstock Art Reef Project, Cape town
Satellite of A the worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles.




V&A Waterfront Blue Shed (Near the Aquarium)


021 448 6426


Crochet Coral for the Art Reef Installation
Meet Artists Scientists Crafters and Crocheteers

Maria 072 6480818 and Leonie 082 7773205

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The search for a Human Rights logo - DESIGN ONE!

On May 3, 2011 the Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle launched a world-wide competition to find a logo for the issue of Human Rights, an issue which is one of the priorities of the German foreign policy. Creative people from around the world who are committed to human rights can submit their designs or rate and comment on the entries of others until July 31, 2011. You can find more information on the competition on the website of the German Embassy www.yaounde.diplo.de. You can also follow the following direct link:


They are also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/humanrightslogo

International Conference on Arts, Society and Sustainable Development

Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa, 27 – 29 June 2011

Hosted by the Faculty of the Arts at Tshwane University of Technology, the International Conference on Arts, Society and Sustainable Development will take place in Pretoria, South Africa, on 27-29 June 2011, aiming to encourage debate around the socio-cultural development of communities, development of products, entrepreneurship, and the economy, discussing aspects such as the ability to brand, determining niche markets, developing business plans and attracting customers.

The goal of the conference is to assemble art practitioners (visual and performing), professionals, designers, academics, researchers, government officials, cultural workers, and industry partners to share creativity, knowledge, and understanding across boundaries; and to offer a platform for the interrogation of the relationship between the arts and community development.

Gladys Sibanda or Irene Botes;
e-mail: botesjc@tut.ac.za or artsinfo@tut.ac.za;

Art on the beach

Here's some images by Gretchen Hesse of land art pieces created at Plettenberg Bay as part of Site Specific!

If you have no idea what's been happening at Plet, have a look at this blog entry: ecojunki.blogspot.com/2011/05/site-specific-in-plettenberg-bay-next.html and at the Site Specific website: sitespecific.org.za

Photographs by Gretchen Hesse

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mountain and Veld vs. Cloud and Carbon

These two landscapes are seen on the N1 route from Johannesburg to Cape Town - one of the main roads for the Intercape city to city bus service.

So many people opt for flying to their destination - trying to spend as little time as possible on their travel. What we are really missing out on is the act of the journey - the opportunity to see different landscapes speeding by as we travel by train or bus. The joy of reading a book, and chatting to the person next to you for hours on end, while you are taken closer and closer towards your destination.

We need to start slowing down, and try to enjoy the things we do - reducing your carbon footprint is not just about choosing different products and services which does less harm to the environment. It's about slowing down, doing less, enjoying more, simplifying and consuming less. Choosing to not always travel by air means making a commitment to contributing to less carbon emissions. Increasingly more planes are built and put into the air to answer a growing demand for people who would rather fly than travel by bus or train.

"Some 16,000 commercial aircrafts pump out 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. It is estimated that by 2020 airplanes will be the single biggest contributor to global warming. It is expected to be bigger than all the other sources of carbon emissions combined. Ground level emissions are less harmful than the carbon emissions by airplanes, for the simple reason that they are deposited directly into the atmosphere."

Ekta Mulchandani at:

Shell and the economics of truth

This Press Release was issued by the TREASURE KAROO ACTION GROUP
1 June 2011

Shell and the economics of truth

Wednesday, 1 June 2011, Cape Town: The ongoing and much-welcomed debate on the safety and sensibility of using hydraulic fracturing to retrieve shale gas in the Karoo has been overshadowed by a systematic corporate strategy of being economical with the truth.

Despite the South African Cabinet's declaration of a moratorium on all applications for licences to conduct hydraulic fracturing in the exploration of shale gas reserves in the Karoo, major oil and gas corporations continue to lobby government and the population that the method—commonly referred to as "fracking"—is safe and viable.

Shell South Africa Energy Limited, a division of Royal-Dutch Shell, immediately after the moratorium announcement, ran full-page advertisements in the national weeklies and distributed flyers at Shell service stations making a number of claims about fracturing. These adverts are currently under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority for being misleading and untruthful.

In a live debate with Jonathan Deal, Chairman of Treasure the Karoo Action Committee (TKAG) held at the UCT's Gordon Business School, the Chairman and Vice President of Shell South Africa Energy Limited, Bonang Mohale, stated that there has never been "a single case of groundwater contamination resulting from fracturing”

"In our 60 years we have never found these fractures going up to the surface. It has just never happened in 800,000 wells. What is likely that can go wrong is, again, in the construction of the well itself: these things do collapse. In the 800,000 wells we have done there is not one single bit of evidence that a well owned, managed and drilled by Shell has ever collapsed."

This is clearly not the truth. Between 19 January 2011 and 5 March 2011, a subsidiary of Shell, East Resources Management LLC (ERM), a hydraulic drilling contractor (acquired by Shell in May 2010) and operating in the Marcellus Shale area, USA, notched up six environmental violations in Marcellus. One of these is described in the report as

"Unpermitted discharge of residual waste. Pollutional substances at well site impacted groundwater. Seep expressed itself in sed [imentary] basin. Elevated chloride, barium, strontium and sodium concentrations in seep."

What Mohale also does not reveal is that the collapsing of the well wall is not the only source of contamination of aquifers and surface water sources. What is also likely that can "go wrong" is what happened with the five other serious violations. Again, the report states that Shell's offences were:

"Discharge of pollutional material to waters of the [C]ommonwealth. "

"Failure to properly store, transport process or dispose of a residual waste."

“Pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.”

“Drilling within 100ft (30m) of surface water or wetland without variance. Constructing a site without permission.”

“Discharge of pollutional material into water of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. What happened: unpermitted discharge to south branch Thornbottom Creek."

In another incident in Australia, a fracking well drilled by Arrow Energy was out of control for more than 24 hours following a blowout on two weeks ago. Shell Energy Holdings Australia Ltd and PetroChina International Investment Company Ltd bought-out Arrow for $3.1-billion in 50-50 joint venture deal in March last year. The blowout spilled roughly 1 000 cubic metres of methane gas per hour into the air.

Fingers cannot be pointed at ERM or Arrow. Shell takes full responsibility. Mohale is on record as saying, when discussing, the operational behaviour of Shell, including its subsidiaries and subcontractors, that "the responsibility lies with Shell.”

"If we subcontract it [the drilling] the responsibility lies with Shell. Subcontractors are our partners and if something goes wrong we are ultimately held accountable."

One of the statements on a Shell flyer distributed at Shell service stations after the Cabinet moratorium, states:

"Shell commits to lead in the setting of global best practices and operational standards."

Six serious violations of environmental law in the space of 45 days in the United States does not speak to "global best practices and operational standards". Nor does the fracking-well blowout in Australia.

Shell's website makes the following claim about the chemicals used in fracking:

The fluids injected into the rock consist of more than 99% water and sand, with a small amount of additives similar to those found in household products."


And the Shell advert distributed at Shell service stations after cabinet moratorium says:

"We also commit to disclosing fracturing fluids at each drilling location."

Yet, Shell will not reveal exactly what those chemicals are when asked in a public debate. And what Mohale didn't say was that Shell, along with BP and Total refused to participate in the American Petroleum Institute's (API) Subcommittee (13) on "Drilling, Completion, and Fracturing Fluids". Nor did he reveal that Shell Oil Company (USA) provided US Senate lawmakers "with language to include in a pending climate change bill that essentially would block federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing."

Reports from the USA state that if this language is "incorporated into the climate change law, it would keep the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing regulations on fracturing... [and] recommends that states adopt standards for disclosing the contents of hydraulic fracturing chemicals... but maintain 'the confidentiality of trade secret information' in the fluids".

This statement seems to pre-empt a stand not yet taken by Shell, Bundu, Falcon and SASOL on matters relating to hydraulic fracturing chemicals. Even its Vice President of new-business development at Shell Exploration and Production, Olivier Lazare, who has urged his company to disclose hydraulic fracturing chemicals has been ignored.

Shell's South African website makes the following claim:

"It [natural gas] burns more cleanly than any other fossil fuel, emitting 50-70% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal in electricity generation." ( http://www.shell.com/home/content/zaf/aboutshell/shell_businesses/e_and_p/karoo/natural_gas.html or: http://bit.ly/klt7ax)

This is not factually correct. Recent studies from Cornell University—Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations by Robert W. Howarth, Renee Santoro and Anthony Ingraffea—have shown that natural gas, which is mostly methane—a much more potent greenhouse gas, "with 105 times more warming impact, pound for pound, than carbon dioxide (CO2)".

Howarth has estimated that as much as 8% of the methane in shale gas leaks into the air during the lifetime of a hydraulic shale gas well—"up to twice what escapes from conventional gas production".

"The take-home message of our study is that if you do an integration of 20 years following the development of the gas, shale gas is worse than conventional gas and is, in fact, worse than coal and worse than oil," Howarth said. "We are not advocating for more coal or oil, but rather to move to a truly green, renewable future as quickly as possible. We need to look at the true environmental consequences of shale gas."

Mohale and Graham Tiley General Manager for new ventures and international exploration at Shell are on record stating:

"Fracking is safe and poses no risk to the environment.”

This is as credible a statement as "smoking does not cause cancer". The violations of environmental regulations by Shell, the self-proclaimed market leader in hydraulic fracturing, are a matter of fact. These violations evidence that no reasonable person can possibly argue that hydraulic fracturing is safe and poses no risk to the environment.

Shell has been economical with the truth. South Africa has been misled. Our Ministers, their departments, and our regulators have been misled. Have they also been misled by the other fracking companies that maintain lower public profiles? If the offences in the US and Australia had not come to light, was our government is at risk of making fracking related decisions based on false information?

If South Africans are going to resolve the controversy surrounding fracking, we need facts, we need truthfulness, we need openess and we need transparency—things that have purposefully not been given to us.