Academic and Journalist
Sanabelle Ebrahim is a Master’s candidate at The Centre for Communication, Media & Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. She is a member of the Royal Natal Yacht Club (RNYC) and Southern African Freelancers’ Association (Safrea). Her interests include graphic narratives, city identity, ports and airports, Deaf culture, sign language, eco-arts and sustainable living activations.
Sanabelle is media liaison for Green Heart City Movement, SanKofa Book & Design Fair Durban, and Integrated World Expo.
Green Heart City Movement is a citizen-based organisation that encourages arts and poetry experiences around themes of sustainable living, fashion and cycling. Key goals include establishing Durban as Green Heart City, and motivating an international Green Heart Movement originating from Durban. The organisation is registered with the World Poetry Movement.
Guided by a desire to create a love affair around reading and books, Green Heart City Movement has initiated SanKofa Book & Design Fair Durban. The book fair features a design element showcasing reading lamps, bookcases, bookmarks, BooK Benches, ‘Le Grande Situpon’ SanKofa Reading & Storytelling Chair, BookBus, and BookBarge. Proposed activations include ‘Words on Rails’ Reading and Writing Safaris using the narrow gauge railway line that follows the curve of the Durban Harbour from the Point to the Bluff.
Green Heart City Movement envisages that Integrated World Expo (IWE) serve as an annual platform for integrating global artists and industrial designers. One of the prime aims of IWE is to encourage greater integration on a global scale. As part of the legacy of IWE, Durban will benefit from the support of visual practitioners in setting up iconic green heart activations around the City.
Academic and Journalist
Mikhail Peppas is Senior Lecturer and MTech Coordinator in the Journalism Programme at the Durban University of Technology in South Africa. He is an editor at Integrated World Media and a member of the Southern African Freelancers’ Association (Safrea). He is an eco-media practitioner with a special interest in city identity, ports and airports, graphic narratives, streets as living texts, eco-arts and sustainable living activations.
Mikhail is the originator of several activations such as Green Heart City (affectionate name for Durban), Green Heart Skyscraper Icon (landscape sculpture energised by solar film and wave technology proposed for the uMngeni River and also positioned on top of the Bluff at the entrance to the Durban Harbour), Greater Durban Television (GDTV, Africa’s first community TV station), Boulevard Beret Accolades (seek to honour six trailblazers who have contributed to the arts, heritage and ecology in the City of Durban and surrounds), Deaf Culture Theatrical Picnics (interactive performance pieces showcased at various local theatres), ‘Parks 4Read’ (an ongoing initiative featuring a BooK Bench in a park setting), Frameside Industrial Lounge (a meeting place for writers, illustrators, publishers, literary agents, booksellers, designers, architects and social entrepreneurs to network and exchange ideas trending on the literary and design landscape), SanKofa Book & Design Fair (first book fair for Durban), and Integrated World Expo (annual platform for integrating global artists and industrial designers).
One of his dreams is to construct a Floating Entertainment Platform with a seafood restaurant and mini amphitheatre for arts and poetry performances based on ocean fables. The Floating Platform seeks to reignite a passion for the harbour and surrounds.
The citizen-based Green Heart City Movement plans a revitalisation of a semi-utilised Durban eco-scape, the extensive gardens running alongside Margaret Mncadi Avenue (formerly Victoria Embankment) to realise an attractive feature integrated into the expanding Smart Port of Durban.
The Embankment vicinity has palm trees, cobblestone footpaths, yachts, bicycles and ecological abundance. The envisaged Green Heart Boulevard offers an ideal public space such named to hearten locals strolling along the Embankment sporting green felt hearts and interacting with artists, Deaf Pavement Poets, accordionistas and penny-whistle players while enjoying Durban’s glorious weather. The socially refreshed Embankment would follow the curve of the yacht basin and evoke an infectious carnival or mardi gras atmosphere.
The name Green Heart Boulevard echoes the affectionate new reference to Durban as Green Heart City. The ‘Green Heart’ title can be anchored by constructing a giant green heart sculpture towering above the Embankment festivities. The sculpture would be visible from aeroplanes and cruise liners, making it a prominent symbol for the City-Port of Durban.
A rekindled fondness for Durban Harbour will foster an invigorated identity for an advancing Smart City-Port and endear the public with a sense of place attachment. Proposed activations include adventure trips on the narrow gauge railway line that feature art and environmental workshops on the Fun Train, a BayWide BookBarge, and SanKofa BooK Bridge spanning the City-Port transforming the Embankment into a bustling locale of choice. City-Port culture spin-offs include enhanced hospitality and tourism opportunities in the Greater Durban Area.