“White man walking” – taking a car for a walk

Goethe Institut’s creative projects and lack of pedestrian infrastructure: what’s the connection?

Photo taken from Goethe Institut Facebook post of 22nd March 2013


“White Man Walking” is a project which combines three of my personal pet hobby horses:

  • the amazingly creative and innovative projects that come out of the Goethe Institut
  • the problem of pavements which deny pedestrian access and force people to walk in the streets
  • and alternative ways of experiencing the city.


Goethe Institut project: Taking a car for a walk

The project arose out of an artists-in-residence programme at the Goethe Institut when two Stuttgart-base artists, Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley, came to Johannesburg with the intention of exploring issues around security.  They began walking the streets looking at how different neighbourhoods managed their public spaces.  And the initiative soon began to ‘investigate how public pedestrian sidewalks have gradually disappeared, replaced by landscaped garden extensions and driveway walls’.

Laurice Taitz writes a great blog on her experience of  ‘taking a car for a walk’ through Parkwood in which she says:

This performance piece of taking a car for a walk provoked different reactions dependent on location:  “In Parkwood people took pictures of us, in Bertrams people joined in”.  These reactions speak volumes.



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