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“Beyond Walls” by SAYPE in Cape Town, South Africa

January 26, 2021
3 min read
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In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as South Africa is in the international spotlight, French-Swiss artist Saype chooses to present a fraternal vision in three neighbourhoods in Sea Point, in the city of Cape Town. The current crisis reinforces Saype’s optimistic will to present these universal frescos of benevolence and togetherness.

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Three frescoes were created using approximately 1000 liters of biodegradable pigments made out of charcoal, chalk, water and milk proteins. The “Beyond Walls” project aims at creating the largest symbolic human chain around the world.

In Cape Town this step was motivated by the country’s persisting need for reunification. Three frescoes representing widely different populations and realities within the city were created in Sea Point (6000 Sq. m), the Philippi township (800 Sq. m) and the Langa township (800 Sq. m).

Cape Town, warmly known as the Mother City, represents the ninth stage of the global artistic project “Beyond Walls” initiated by Saype in June 2019 in Paris. South Africa is a country rich in culture and ethnic diversity bound by the spirit of Ubuntu (togetherness). In these unprecedented times, and while the whole world battles the effects and impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, increased political polarization and economic hardships, this spirit of Ubuntu is exactly what is needed. Striving to recover from the dark time of apartheid, South Africa constitutes a crucial milestone for “Beyond Walls”.

The gigantic painted hands symbolize the reconciliation, a pillar of Nelson Mandela’s ethos. They intertwine beyond inequalities, created in fundamentally different areas of the city.  Saype hopes that art may be a modest contribution to reunite a city whose historic scars have not yet healed.

This step is carried out in fruitful collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, the International Public Art Festival, Baz-Art and the City of Cape Town.

Self-taught, Saype is known today for his paintings on grass, made with eco-responsible paint. Certainly one of the most publicized artists in 2019, he was notably named by the famous magazine Forbes as one of the thirty most influential personalities under the age of thirty in the world, in the field of art and Culture.

Check out below for more images of SAYPE’s “Beyond Walls”.

Photo credits: Valentin Flauraud



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