Infecting the City 2012
City Treasurers - Watermarks

‘In the beginning there was a river. The river became a road and the road branched out to the whole world.’ Ben Okri

Created By:

doung Dala


Mon 21 at 09h00, Molteno Resevoir


Sat 26, The Sea, Duncan Docks


Throughout the week

Leaving a broad pink trail from the Molteno Dam in Gardens, down Government Avenue and Adderley Street to the sea, Durban-based architect and public artist, doung Dala, spends the Festival week marking the hidden course of the Vaarste River.

This is one of four rivers that flows off Table Mountain and vanishes under the tarmac of the City. These rivers watered the massive cattle herds of the first nation Khoi people, and drew Dutch settlers here in the 17th Century to establish gardens to feed passing ships on the Spice Route.

The river was dammed by the Dutch, and canalised to form the Herengracht. The English covered it over, and renamed it Adderley Street.

Only recently has much of this water been channelled to irrigate the Cape Town Stadium, but beneath the City millions of litres of valuable mountain water still run into the sea.

Bringing together the ritual and the political, doung will map the invisible river with river pebbles daubed with an environmentally safe pink powder (ingomanamakosi) that is used by sangomas as a binding element during the process of making umuthi (medicine). For more information about the rivers under Cape Town, see the Reclaim Camissa website.

doung dala

doung dala

Mauritian-born, Doung Anwar Jahangeer studied Architecture at the University of Natal, where he achieved merit awards in both Design and Construction. Doung conceptualized and implemented ‘The City Walk’ initiative, as a way of directly observing the flux and mutability of his adopted city. ‘The City Walk’ initially started with Durban and now includes Johannesburg, the UK, Brazil and Sweden. In 2004 he started the ‘Streetlights’ in read more...