Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Photo of the month (July)

Children playing in front of one of Keziah’s murals in Vrygrond

With paintbrush in hand, Keziah Philipson is bringing a  splash of colour and messages of hope to the streets  of Vrygrond. Here she shares with us the story so far.

Ever since our church moved into a building alongside the Vrygrond settlement in Muizenberg, the community has become an inspiring but challenging part of the life of our church. It’s a place where poverty and gangsterism are experienced every day. However, it is also a place where the saving grace of Christ is so powerfully evident and real.

Jeremiah, leaning against the car, is Keziah’s art critic and director on site. She painted the above “Freedom Reigns” mural for him on the boundary wall of his house

We had a vision of bringing beauty, colour and light into what can be a dark place by prophesying biblical truth through public art. We began by painting a friend’s tin wall with lyrics from a worship song. Her neighbours gathered around and asked us to come back and paint their walls too, and since then we’ve returned and painted various walls along the street as we get to know the residents in the area.

This is Sanna standing in front of her wall with her neighbour’s children

We’re always joined by a devoted following of children offering advice and chatting away; often the adults affirm our painted words, and invite prayer and a fresh witness to their stories and the scenes of their lives. Our passion is to change a cultural identity from one defined by poverty and crime to one defined by biblical hope, truth and blessing; and to declare and unlock specific household and cultural identities.

A resident claims a spot to relax by the bright walls

Children playing in the street while Keziah paints

Neighbourhood children posing in front of a mural

“We’re always joined by a devoted following of children offering advice and chatting away”

– Keziah Philipson attends Bay Community Church in Muizenberg, Cape Town. She is currently studying PGCE at UCT and doing an art therapy course as she wants to become an art teacher. She is originally from Zimbabwe. 

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