One was to sketch some Street Theatre in the little, poverty stricken suburb of Bertrams just south of the city. We decided to go to a rehearsal on a Thursday morning, but sadly it had been rescheduled without our knowledge - so we found ourselves banging on an unresponsive corrugated iron gate in an famously lawless area. We recklessly decided to unfold our chairs on a corner and start drawing in spite of warnings by concerned individuals to keep our car doors locked etc etc.
As is usually the case when we venture out into Joburg's vastly varied streets, we soon felt part of the furniture as locals passed us by, some stopping to look and chat about drawing, some taking no notice; a father ushering his two sweet little boys to say hello to the gogos (grandmothers); an undoubted illicit exchange between a young chap and a passing mini-bus taxi driver; a woman coming to tell us her story of being kicked out of the nearby home for vulnerable people and being taken in by her kind friend, who came to join the conversation; men changing their car oil and pouring the old stuff into the empty plot next to us (ulp! - sometimes you have to just keep your mouth shut!) Only one very interested look into my sketching bag...luckily he wasn't interested in pens and paint. In the distance a corner café was bustling with activity, the peeling bark of the plane trees leading to it reflecting the surfaces of the decaying but still beautiful buildings.
It felt like street theatre in a way, even without the actors.
[And hooray, my blog list is back!]