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11 November 2005The Women’s Jail on Constitution Hill has gone to Sao Paulo in Brazil . in the form of Utopia Nowhere Close, an exhibition of contemporary architecture.The exhibition, the 6th Sao Paulo International Biennale of Architecture and Design, is subtitled “Living in Cities: Reality Architecture Utopia”. It began in October and will run for two months, with some 500 000 visitors expected to attend.Eleven countries are taking part, including Argentina, Israel, Mexico and Portugal.The exhibition is curated by Johannesburg architects sharpCITY. “The exhibition explores how people live in the landscape that now has a different meaning,” says sharpCITY architect Anne Graupner, curator of the exhibition, in reference to post-apartheid South Africa.She says the exhibition explores a number of different aspects of the new South Africa: memory, urban landscape, freedom, education, advancement and suburbia.That’s why the Women’s Jail, among other Johannesburg buildings, was chosen – as an example of how a building is now used in a different period, with a different meaning. The restored and enlarged jail explores every one of these elements – today it is a place of human rights pursuit, lekgotlas and workshops, while at the same time displaying the recollections of the women’s dreadful treatment and torture.Other Johannesburg buildings at the exhibition are the Faraday Market, the Brickfields Housing Estate, the Drill Hall, the Apartheid Museum, the Hector Pietersen Museum, the Constitutional Court, the Metro Mall and the Nelson Mandela Yard Interpretation Centre in Alexandra.All these buildings pay respect to the past but look forward, redefining the landscape in a distinctive way.In all 50 projects, including a day care centre, a high school, several houses, a chapel and a public space project, have been submitted by 43 architectural firms across the country.The Women’s JailThe Women’s Jail, on the western edge of the densely populated Hillbrow, was built in 1909 to house women prisoners and is one of several prisons on Constitution Hill. Its architecture, reminiscent of the stolid structures of the British Edwardian period, sets it apart from the Fort and No 4 prison.Its attractive oval shape in rich red brick with prison cells radiating off it has been restored and turned into a museum, commemorating the thousands of women who were subjected to degrading treatment by the women warders. It is described by one ex-prisoner as “the devil’s place”.The unhappiness of the place is belied by a row of six large palm trees rustling in the breeze outside, with two large palm trees in its entrance. Beds of agapanthus plants nestle below these trees, buds ready to burst. Many women say they never noticed the garden as they entered the prison.It housed both common criminals and ordinary people, the latter often incarcerated with their children after being picked up on the city streets because they couldn’t show police their pass books.New structureA new structure has been built on the west and east wings of the original prison, giving it a northerly perspective. Made of glass and steel, its two wings at right angles to the prison, the building’s architecture and function are in sharp contrast to the prison. It houses the Centre for Gender Equality, the Public Protector and several other human rights organisations.Kate Otten of Kate Otten Architects says all decisions regarding the restoration were carefully made, in consultation with past prisoners, warders and conservationists.The architects’ brief, entitled Reclaiming history, explains the symbolism of the building: “The horror of the prisoners’ experiences, the injustice of apartheid laws and the silencing of protest had to be felt in the remains of structures and amplified through the architecture.“It was not only architectural history that was at stake here but the history of human beings, their lives distorted within these spaces.”The development has been sensitively handled. Some structures were demolished – later additions of no architectural or cultural significance. This helped restore the significance of the original buildings and courtyards.The demolitions revealed secrets of the prison’s history. On removing a layer of bricks, a partially disintegrated security grille was revealed, put there as a vault to store weapons for a later occupant, the Civil Cooperation Bureau. This was a much-hated body notorious for torture and murder of political activists in the 1980s (the prison was closed in 1982). In recognition of this layer of history, a glass door was placed in the grille, a comfortable juxtaposition of the old and the new.Several former prisoners have objected to the demolitions and restorations. But there’s a subtle memory trick at play here.“People’s memories are quite unclear,” says Otten. “Architects’ visual memories are trained.” Prisoners can’t always accurately remember the details of what was in the prison when they spent time within its walls. In fact, less was demolished than what was agreed to by the South African Heritage Resources Agency.The prison was restored in other ways – the walls were painted a “bland white”, damp problems were dealt with, and the roof was painted. A wall with peeling paint and damp patches was left untouched. It was a case of “maintenance, not sanitising” the building, says Otten.Part of the permanent exhibition in the jail is a huge pyramid of floor brushes, testimony to the hours the women spent on their hands and knees, scrubbing floors.The Women’s Jail was probably the cleanest prison in the country. Ex-prisoners recall spending their days cleaning and washing everything in sight: the walls, the floors, clothes, even the male prisoners’ clothes sent over from No 4.Transparent harshnessThe new buildings have a transparent harshness about them – the mostly glass walls reflect the light and offer intense views of the Women’s Jail; the buildings’ angular shape and metal finishes symbolise the cruelty of the place.Visitors will in fact not easily notice the entrance to the two new structures, seamlessly interwoven with the old building. “The new buildings touch the old building lightly,” says the brief. “They do not seek to imitate the existing buildings – both the new and the old are expressed individually.”The two new structures are three storeys, the first two fronted by a row of pillars the exact height of the prison, the third storey on the same level as the prison’s roof.In another embrace of the old and new, the awaiting trial building has been retained and incorporated into the new east wing, its red brick a catchy contrast to the glass and steel around it.A glass-covered walkway and wall bisects the old exercise yard, once a grey tiled area but now a lush grassy patch, a welcome relief to the hard surfaces around it. It was previously fenced with corrugated iron, several small iron shacks erected on its eastern side. These were gone before the architects started working on the site, but the rectangular shape of a hut is demarcated by a red metal frame on the lawn, complete with two buckets: one for drinking and washing, the other for ablutions. Up to four women were crammed into this suffocating space.‘Keeping the pain at bay’During the six months she spent as a political prisoner in the jail in 1976, sociologist and activist Fatima Meer produced drawings that are a valuable record of life there. But it had another purpose. “The art work I did in prison was perhaps a way of keeping the pain at bay.”The works, naive in their detailed execution, capture the humiliation of women crowded into small spaces, utterly at the mercy of the warders. Meer meticulously records every brick in a wall, an indication of hours in isolation but perhaps also of her need to capture every detail of the torturous experience.Joyce Piliso-Seroke, chairperson of the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE), a major tenant in the new buildings, has lived there before – in 1976 she spent time in solitary confinement. Now she walks through the prison on her way to work every day, on her way to her “beautiful office” where she enjoys a “beautiful view”.“My colleagues and staff of the CGE marvel at my composure and excitement about having our headquarters based at the jail. I tell them that coming here represents my final step in achieving closure.“My being here represents the triumph of our nation over a system that once denied people their humanity and dignity. My being here only emphasises that our sacrifices and struggle for human rights were not in vain.”The 6th Sao Paulo International Biennale of Architecture and Design runs from 22 October to 11 December. The exhibition will be shown in Cape Town at the Design Indaba 2006, and should then travel around the country, depending on sponsorship. For more details, visit the sharpCITY website.Source: City of Johannesburg
7 June 2010World Cup frenzy was evident at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on the weekend, with hordes of fans, football stars, international media teams and Grammy Award winning musician R Kelly arriving in South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Former World Cup stars, Holland’s Ruud Gullit and England’s Steve McManaman, arrived on Saturday shortly before England international Michael Dawson, who was mobbed by a media contingent outside international arrivals as he flew in to replace injured England captain Rio Ferdinand.Over the last few days the teams who will be competing in the tournament have started to arrive, with stars such as Kaka, Messi and Rooney already having passed through the airport terminal.But it is the rush of international fans that is really bringing the World Cup spirit to South Africa, as Africa’s biggest airport begins to welcome the expected influx of World Cup travellers.‘I am happy South Africa was chosen’Mexican brothers Juan and Junior Medrano and Juan’s wife Michelle were among those who arrived in the country over the weekend – sporting huge sombreros, of course!“It’s been a dream of ours to attend the Fifa World Cup, and we’re so happy to be in South Africa and can’t wait for the tournament to start,” said Junior Medrano, a newly qualified occupational therapist. “I’m so excited to be here – celebrating with the world. In this time we all need things to bring people together.“I am happy South Africa was chosen to host the Fifa World Cup,” Medrano said. “Over the next few weeks Africa’s first Fifa World Cup will be the catalyst to unite the world. It’s a symbol of hope and new beginnings for all of us.”‘It’s amazing to be here’Argentina’s Vera brothers, Emilio and Jose, from Resis Dencia near the Paraguayan border, also arrived on Saturday, with plane tickets but no clue as to where they would be staying; they were assisted by airport staff with a list of B&B and hotel establishments as they arrived.“It’s amazing to be here,” said Jose Vera. “I was at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and I wanted to repeat the experience. It’s my favourite holiday, and I am sure Africa will be a great host and showcase all its best attributes to the world.“Every World Cup is better than the last, and I am sure this World Cup will be the best ever!”Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee
SharePrint RelatedButler County Donut Trail GeoTour (GT77)May 10, 2018In “GeoTours”Back to School with GeocachingSeptember 16, 2019In “Community”Inside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 15): GeoToursJune 18, 2018In “Community” One more thing:All caches are available at any time of the day, but if you’re planning to stop for a donut at each stop you’ll have to do some research beforehand. Make sure you note the days and hours that each donut shop has their own business hours. For example, some of them are closed on Sundays and Mondays. We highly encourage you to attempt this GeoTour early in the day, since many donut shops sell out early! What better way to start your day than geocaching with fresh, warm donuts? Find out more about the Butler County Donut Trail GeoTour here.Note: All the above information was provided by the GeoTour host. Copy has been edited by Geocaching HQ.Share with your Friends:More Location: Butler County, OhioFavorite Points:215Best time of year to visitOhio is graced by all four seasons. Whether you like to enjoy the spring flowers, summer warmth, fall colors, or snowy winter scenes, the Butler County Donut Trail GeoTour will take you on a scenic drive through the entire county. In addition to geocaching, why go?You read that right, we have donuts! And lots of them. But if you want to try out some other fun things in the foodie world, head over to Jungle Jim’s International Market. Here you’ll find over 180,000 different grocery items from around the world spread out over six and a half acres. Featured on The Travel Channel and NPR, it’s not to be missed.A foodie paradise awaits at Jungle Jim’s International MarketMust See (popular tourist attraction)Be sure to visit the world’s largest indoor train display in West Chester.Hidden Gem (something only locals know about)Get out and explore some of Ohio’s natural beauty at one of Butler County’s nature preserves. The Riverside Natural Area, a marshland known for its diversity of plants and wildlife, is a popular nature walk for locals and visitors alike. Deer, coyote, raccoons, bald eagles, and a wide variety of birds call this lagoon their home. While you’re there, meander over to GC3EFWA: Near the NATURAL dam!! and wave hello to the beavers at their residence on the Great Miami River.If biking is more your speed, check out the Great Miami River Trail. This 87-mile bikeway features bridges, panoramic river views, and access to quaint parks on the banks of the Great Miami River. Stop for a picnic at Joyce Park and stay for a recreational sports game at the park’s athletic fields, or ride north on the trail through the city of Hamilton. There are geocaches all along the trail, so you’re sure to never be too far from a cache!PrizesThose who complete the entire GeoTour will earn a delicious donut Geocoin! So tempting! A Donut Trail GeocoinWhat geocachers are sayingHad a great morning chasing donuts with our crew from Louisville. Found all caches in great shape, and all donuts tasting great. — SherpaRonNothing better than a road trip with friends and donuts. Thank you so much for making and maintaining this fun tour and all the smilies along the way. I have managed to buy enough donuts at each place to feed a small Army. It was just too hard to decide which one so I got them all. — tjheath62We completed both the Donut Trail and the GeoTour, and had so much fun doing so! It’s always nice to do a series where the caches are actually where they are supposed to be!!!!! All caches is great shape and nicely hidden. — wespen2010
Fireworks lit up the sky during the opening ceremony of Asian Games 2014.Pop sensation Psy was the star attraction as a dazzling opening ceremony, showcasing the glorious past and modern-day South Korea launched the 17th Asian Games here on Friday.The Games were declared open by South Korean President Park Geun-Hye with the words “I declare open the 17th Asian Games,” before actor Lee Young-ae lit up the flame resembling a fountain of cascading water.As Lee lighted the cauldron, dazzling fireworks lit up the sky.The competing teams marched into the stadium in the final act of the evening. The Indian athletes trooped in after Iran with hockey skipper Sardar Singh leading out the smartly-dressed contingent.While the male members wore black blazers, the women athletes were dressed in blue sarees. The smiling athletes walked in waving the tri-colour. India have sent nearly 700-strong contingent for the event that will take part in 28 disciplines.The overriding theme of the opening was the unity of Asia and consequently the cultural show comprised four parts. As is the custom the ceremony was divided into the informal and formal parts.South Korean President Park Geun-hye waves during the opening ceremony of the 17th Asian Games.The event began with a welcoming performance, lasting close to 80 minutes, to greet the spectators at the 60,000-capacity stadium that was filled to the brim.The session was divided into three parts, “Incheon, the magnet of dreams,” “Incheon, where all of us become friends,” and “Tomorrow, dreamed by all of us.”advertisementA display of Korea’s traditional drums and cymbal-type instruments before emcees Kim Sung-ju and Youn Soo-young came on stage.Then, a cheering team formed by young children performed to a remix of songs from past sports events held in Korea, including the theme song of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.The second part of the opening ceremony consisted of two themed songs “New Asia, a Song of Hope” and “Incheon”.Then “Incheon, a place for one Asia” expressed the Games hosting city as a bridge to unite Asia as one family and open the future of the continent.Two figures related to Incheon appeared on stage- Biryu, a legendary founding father of an ancient kingdom whose territory covered the Incheon area, and Sim Cheong, a girl in an ancient novel, who dived into the sea as a sacrifice for fishermen who promised to give her blind father a huge amount of rice instead.On the final stage of “Incheon, a place for one Asia,” a ship returned to Incheon with Korean opera singer, Ahn Sook-sun, singing “One Asia.”The ship carried the hoop girl, actor Kim Soo-hyun and people from 45 nations. They were welcomed by actor Jang Dong-gun and people of Incheon. Executive director Im Kwon-taek and artistic director Jang Jin orchestrated all performances.Executive director Im Kwon-taek and artistic director Jang Jin orchestrated all the performances.After the Games were formally declared open the OCA flag was brought in by eight top former Korean sports heroes and ceremoniously raised.The host country’s national anthem was sung to signal the commencement of the formal part of the programme.The teams had been restricted to 130 members for the march past. South Korean singer Psy performs during the opening ceremony of the 17th Asian Games.As was expected the host country’s contingent, aiming to finish at least second overall in the medals tally behind juggernaut China, was given the loudest cheer of the entire evening.In his welcome speech Kim Young-soo, the president of the Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee, described Incheon as not only his birthplace, but also as “a dynamic city of communication and interaction; the venue for convergence and exchange, home to various ethnicities, cultures, the latest scientific technologies and traditions.”He also said that the current Asian Games will be “a grand festival for peace and harmony, to discard all discrimination, prejudice, suppression and conflicts; and to ensure an Asia of mutual understanding and prosperity.””The 17th Asian Games has been prepared not as a festival for just few nations, but as a magnificent festival for all Asians to celebrate as one,” he added.The Games torch, in a departure from tradition lit on August 9 at New Delhi’s Dhyan Chand National Stadium which was the venue of the inaugural Asian Games in 1951, was then ceremoniously brought into the stadium by a relay squad of runners before the cauldron was lit in spectacular fashion by Korean actor Lee Young-ae to thunderous roars from the crowd.advertisementTraditionally, the flame of Asian Games had always been lit in the Games hosting nation. But to infuse a sense of tradition and honour to the history of Asian Games, the flame for the 17th Games here was lit up in an overseas nation for the first time to lay the foundation for the flame of the Asian Games to be continuously lit up in the Dhyan Chand National Stadium from now on.Through the relay from New Delhi, the hosting city for the first Asian Games and through China, the flame arrived at Incheon Port through sea route on August 12th.It all ended in a riot of colour and foot-tapping Gangnam style music and dance with the assembled athletes in the centre of the field joining in.