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Sunday, July 3, 2016


(Robin Opperman & Ujala Sewpersad of Umcebo Design. Pic by Publicity Matters)

Respected Durban art makers, Umcebo Design, is involved in two participative art projects as part of AIDS2016: Light of Hope an enormous chandelier with individually-beaded “leaves” paying tribute to people touched by HIV/Aids; and a youth project envisioning an AIDS free-generation, dubbed “The Butterfly Project.”

Both projects involve community participation and both are made using recycled plastics - family-sized yoghurt tubs and ice cream containers.

Both projects are being designed and facilitated by Robin Opperman and Ujala Sewpersad of Umcebo Design, a specialist art making consultancy based in Glenwood.

Light of Hope is a special project within South African Voices: Towards a Museum of HIV Memory and Learning which will open ahead of the AIDS2016 conference in Durban. Based at KwaMuhle Museum, it is a collection of artefacts, artistic, historic and photographic items that pay tribute to people affected by HIV.

Light of Hope is an interactive sculpture installation taking the form of a large HIV hope light sculpture to be constructed in the Global Village of the AIDS2016 Conference this July.

Consisting of plastic leaves made from recycled materials, each leaf will carry personalised, beaded messages of remembrance, hope and celebration. The idea is for conference delegates to participate in the making of the Light of Hope artwork and in so doing, contribute their voices to this special, legacy museum piece. Participation in the Light of Hope is free to all AIDS2016 visitors.

The Butterfly Project is a legacy project initiative of the US Consulate Durban, the Denis Hurley Centre and the office of the Premier, funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), aimed at getting KZNs teenagers involved in AIDS2016 to envision an AIDS free generation.

100 young people a day, over six days, will create butterflies out of recycled plastic in workshops at the Denis Hurley Centre in the heart of Durban working towards a huge public art installation which will be on display at the DHC over AIDS2016 before being dismantled and elements sent for display at participating communities.

Workshops run from July 4 to 11 daily at the DHC. Alongside the butterfly-making workshops, DramAidE and facilitators will be affirming the health education message that behavioural change is necessary to work towards an AIDS free generation.

If you want your youth group to participate and attend the butterfly making workshops, contact Seth Pyoos on 031 301 2240 or email:

People are invited to drop off clean 2 litre white and cream ice cream containers and large yoghurt containers at Umcebo Design weekdays, office hours at 171 Bulwer Road in Glenwood. Also kitchen cutters, scissors, pliers - in fact any wirework tools - will also be welcome.

For more information contact - Robin Opperman. Director - Umcebo Design - or 083 793 3408 or email: / Facebook: Umcebo Design.