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GOOD NEIGHBOURS: The Borderlands Project

Being good neighbours in Noordhoek is not simply about making sure your dog doesn’t leave his poo in your neighbour’s front yard. It also means sometimes crossing mental and physical borders to see that we are part of one community, that when our neighbours such as Fish Hoek, Ocean View and Masi thrive, so do we.

The Borderlands Project, a not-for-profit venture, is an exciting and inspiring concept that uses arts to connect people to each other and the natural environment in a fresh way. Taking people on a “road-trip” experience into locations on the peninsula, Borderlands creates a fun, welcoming and safe space where, along with people of all neighbouring communities, we can share in music, dance, art and performance created by local artists. Borderlands is run by public-arts curator Leila Anderson with a small, committed team that includes Chase Rhys (Ocean View-based artist) and Sibabale Silo (Masiphumelele-based youth arts leader).

The experience

Seventy spectators, neighbours from our diverse valley communities, took part in the first Borderlands experience, recently. Starting at the Noordhoek Sports Fields with energizing dance, music and clowning, taxis then moved the group to the Arts and Crafts Centre on the edge of Masiphumelele for a ritual performance. Two local acts at the Slangkop mountain, and then the convoy travelled down Wireless Road to Kommetjie Beach where performance, singing and a special pop-up by Pedro Espi-Sanchis brought the day to a moving end as the sun lowered over the ocean.

The Borderlands Vision

Leila and her team have a big vision for Borderlands – early next year the first public Borderlands event will take place over several days. A program of workshops are currently being run for young people (facilitated by partners from The Mothertongue Project and eMzantsi Carnival); Borderlands is on a mission to take small groups of young people who do not have their own transport to plays, performances and exhibitions in the city centre; plans are being developed for a communal cooking and building action with people of the area; running a holiday camp for local school children from the peninsula’s primary schools to create a performance artwork for Borderlands; and helping local artists get into the creative economy by mapping talent and expertise in the area.

The Borderlands Project needs your help! You can get involved by:

  • Running a workshop or suggesting someone with specific artistic or environmental expertise to lead one
  • Sponsoring a workshop (we need help to cover transport and facilitation costs)
  • Volunteering to help with transport to cultural events in the city
  • Assisting with fundraising
  • Sponsoring Borderlands activities as a local business
  • Getting involved with hands-on assistance workshops, projects and events
  • Helping with publicity and marketing (share the skills!)
  • Signing up for the next Borderlands event (early 2018)

To help, or for more info, please contact Leila Anderson on

Look at (and like) the Borderlands Facebook page by clicking here.

With thanks