Visit an Exhibition

Architectural, artistic, and historical exhibitions planned to coincide with UIA2014 are concentrated in three primary areas, the DEC and Walnut Road, the Beer Hall in Rivertown, and in the Durban Art Gallery, with other exhibitions across Durban. All exhibitions are free and open to both delegates and the public.

Exhibitions In The Beer Hall- Rivertown

The UIA-Durban Street Project is a public architectural and urban forum at the historic Beer Hall at John Milne Road. Showcasing an experimental transformation of downtown Durban, it includes exhibitions, workshops, discussions and parties targeted at built environment specialists, congress delegates and the Durban public. The contributions demonstrate socially responsible and culturally relevant strategies for high density and sustainable urban development. A ‘Student Summer School’ will take place in the exhibition space and workshops focused on ‘Architecture and Children’ and ‘Architecture for All’ will be held in the courtyard. The Beer Hall can be found in John Milne Road. Curators: Nina Nedelykov, Christiano Lepratti.

Informal Studio: Marlboro South

At a time when thinking about housing in South Africa is gradually shifting towards upgrading rather than the eradication of informal settlements, the need for suitably experienced professionals, community planners and officials who can engage in a process of participative planning is becoming increasingly urgent. In response, universities and professional bodies have been seeking new modes of education and practice. The travelling exhibition Informal Studio: Marlboro South first shown in Johannesburg in February 2013, documents a university course on in-situ upgrading developed by 26’10 south Architects with the University of Johannesburg in 2012. During a seven-week period, fifty architecture students worked with community planners (residents) from the informally settled warehouses and open plots in the industrial area of Marlboro South bordering Alexandra. The exhibition consists of four documentary short films as well as text, maps, drawings and a comic. It documents the complexity of the negotiated relationship between students and residents, as well as the challenges and opportunities opened up through a participative approach to planning. The exhibition Informal Studio: Marlboro South and the larger project it represents were produced in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg.

Dates & Time: Opening: 2 Aug 18:00 ; 3 Aug – 8 Aug, 8:00 – 20:00
Cost: Free to public and delegates

Photo credit to Infomal Studio Kutwano Moagi

Ecology. Design. Synergy

Behnisch Architekten und Transsolar ClimateEngineering

The exhibition ECOLOGY.DESIGN.SYNERGY is a collaboration between the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and the AEDES Architecture Forum, with the overarching vision to detach the term ‘sustainability’ from its common quantitative representation by highlighting the aspects of sustainability which can be experienced as qualities in themselves. The ifa and AEDES invited Behnisch Architekten and Transsolar ClimateEngineering to interpret this vision concretely within the context of their work. The practices have been collaborating for many years to develop solutions for a sustainable and responsible architecture based on the belief that high-quality built environments can be realised with a lower consumption rate of natural resources. Highlighting aspects of their projects, the exhibition represents their efforts in assessing the qualitative aspects of sustainability, which emerge through a sustainability-focused and integrated design process. Curator Frank Ockert, accordingly focuses on the human senses in his exhibition design, emphasising this idea in an accessible way.

Dates & Time: Opening: 2 Aug 18:00, 3 Aug – 10 Aug, 8:00 – 20:00
Cost: Free to public and delegates

Poster Exhibition

The poster exhibition will be mounted on the facades of the historic Beer Hall along the public street. It is informal in character and shows architectural and urban projects and initiatives, attracting the attention of a broader public. The exhibition displays different examples of high density, sustainable and/or culture led, socially responsible urban development strategies in the context of new and existing or listed buildings. The projects range from large to small scale and come from different parts of the world. The focus is on projects that function as catalysts for the revitalisation of quarters, areas, ensembles; on projects that involve different and interdisciplinary competences of public authorities, architects, urban planners, sociologists, economists and civil society; and projects in the field of education. The project is part of the UIA "Durban Street Project Rivertown" curated by Nina Nedelykov and Christiano Lepratti.

Dates & Time: 2-10 Aug, all day
Cost: Free to public and delegates

Rivertown Exhibition

The exhibition in the Beer Hall will show the results of the “Call for universities” Rivertown.

The task for the students was to develop visions and strategies for the precinct around John Milne Road. Their solutions propose:

  •  an arts, culture and environment led regeneration process.
  •  the revitalisation of public space focused on a re-naturalised water canal.
  • the adoption of green public space and the evolution of the eco-system of the city (urban gardening on the Victory Park).
  •  the refurbishment of the Beer Hall as an arts and culture activation centre and administrative hub for the municipality.
  • emphasis on participatory urban planning.

“The battle for a more sustainable future will be won or lost in cities“.

The exhibition and summer school are an experimental part of the transformation of downtown Durban. Curators: Nina Nedelykov, Christiano Lepratti

Dates & Time: Opening: 2 Aug 18:00, 3 Aug – 7 Aug, 8:00 – 20:00
Cost: Free to public and delegates
Image Credit: DSA UniGenova
Image Credit: DSA UniGenova

Another exhibition will be available in the Beer Hall, outlining the history of the building, and the area.

Beer Hall: Through the Times

The exhibition aims to narrate the story of Beer Halls in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) region and how these structures were utilised as facilities for ‘controlling’ the ‘natives’ who worked in the city. This exhibition will then focus on the Beer Hall in the city, describing its journey through the many functions it’s housed. From a Beer Hall to a panelbeater workshop, storage facilities and offices for DAG/LHM and to the present, a building that will house public activities and be a catalyst for change in the Rivertown precinct. During the UIA2014 Congress, this facility will be liberated from its harsh history, becoming a space in the city to celebrate the exciting Congress events. However, for the celebrations to occur, one must understand the significance of the structure and what it stood for.

Dates & Time: Aug – 10 Aug, 8:00-20:00
Cost: Free to public and delegates

Exhibitions In The Durban Art Gallery 

The Durban Art Gallery (DAG), founded in 1892, is situated in the Durban City Hall, and is accessed from Anton Lembede Street. Four public exhibitions will take place at the Gallery during UIA2014. The Gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 8:30-16:00, and Sundays 11:00-16:00 and entrance is free. Otherwhere tours will also be offered around the various exhibitions. Credit for pics – Angela Buckland, Giovanni Vio

‘Quiet Place’ - An installation of photography and poetry

Quiet Place is an installation that brings photography and poetry together to describe continuous mutations of the built environment of South Africa. The images emanate from two points of view and reconstruct the multiple nature of contemporary South Africa. The medium of photography gives opportunity to investigate places and spaces of exchange and encounter. Italian architect and photographer, Giovanni Vio, presents icons of urbanity and detail of shared spaces alongside ‘Block A, Thokoza Women’s Hostel’ by photographer, Angela Buckland. This installation, composed of 699 pictures taken inside Thokoza, the historical women’s hostel of Durban, is a narration of personal lives within a building. A selection of seven poems by South African contemporary poets are an integral part of the display and echoes the values of the human and physical landscape of South Africa.

Dates & Time: 5 August – 7 September 2014, Monday to Saturday, 8:30-16:00, and Sundays 11:00-16:00
Where: The Durban Art Gallery (DAG)
Contact details: Thulani Makhaye 031 3112268
Cost: Free to public and delegates

Photo Credits left to right – Angela Buckland and Giovanni Vio

I did have a dream

Because fair political systems exist for such a long time only in the imaginations of social activists it is appropriate to consider the dream or vision as a curatorial theme in conceptualising an exhibition focused on South Africa’s 20-years of democracy. Quite apart from the expected graphic propaganda images political movements are so fond of there exists in the DAG collection many works that chart the history of these monumental changes from their genesis in colonial governance to where we find ourselves today. More to the point these works illuminate a variety of visions or mental analogues of what people envisaged to be the promised land. It is through these mental slides – visions, dreams, or nightmares evinced in works found in this collection that the exhibition will seek to explore 20-years of democracy.

Dates & Time: 5 August to 12 October 2014, Monday to Saturday, 8:30-16:00, and Sundays 11:00-16:00
Where: The Durban Art Gallery (DAG)
Contact details: Jenny Stretton 031 3327 286
Cost: Free to public and Delegates

Photo credit: Bafana Mkhize ‘Voting’ 1994 DAG collection

Rodney Harber Exhibition

This exhibition is on the works of Rodney Harber, one of Durban’s legendary “otherwhere” architects. Harber began his career as a young architect in the 1960’s when South Africa was in the grip of apartheid. He intuitively grasped the conflicted urges of identity expressed around him, responding with an attitude of inclusion and participatory design. The sites and types of his buildings are manifestations of the ambiguities that still surround us: rural and urban; African tradition and missionary Christianity; the city and the suburb; Zulu and English. He demonstrated an understanding of ‘otherwhere’ before the idea was created. This exhibition/installation gives an insight into the work of one of Durban’s most admired practitioners who has influenced several generations as a community activist, architectural practitioner, urban planner and academic. The exhibition has been curated and designed by Carol Brown and Peter Engblom.

Opening dates: 5 August to 30 September, Monday to Saturday, 8:30-16:00, and Sundays 11:00-16:00
Contact details: Thulani Makhaye 031 3112268 or Carol Brown 0837781192
Cost: Free to public and delegates
Where: Durban Art Gallery

‘Looking Forward: Our Lives in 2034’ - Twenty years ago seems like yesterday and 2034 is just tomorrow

In this, the 20th year of democracy in South Africa, the Durban Art Gallery and ArtSPACE Durban are collaborating in an exhibition Looking Forward: Our Lives in 2034. Under the curatorship of Jenny Stretton and Karen Bradtke the show brings together a group of selected artists from KwaZulu-Natal who have participated in a two-day seminar chaired by Tanja Hichert, senior researcher form the Institute for Futures Research, University of Stellenbosch and Director of the South African Node of the Millennium Project. Each artist presents one artwork which is a culmination of individual research and the engagement in the seminar. This exhibition is sponsored in part by the Natal Arts Trust.

Dates & Time: 5 August to 14 September 2014, Monday to Saturday, 8:30-16:00, and Sundays 11:00-16:00
Where: The Durban Art Gallery (DAG)
Contact details: Jenny Stretton 031 3327 286
Cost: Free to public and Delegates


Exhibitions Elsewhere In Durban

Various different venues, details given for each exhibition.

Zooloo Vindaloo/Zulu Blonde Exhibition

During the UIA2014 Congress, Ike’s Books and Collectables will host an exhibition of artworks by Peter Engblom featuring the exploration of both India and Japan by Zulu explorer Mpunzi Shezi. There will be fabrics and garments by the renowned Inyezane workshop, mint condition retro African vinyls, as well as Asian snack platters and a bar. The venue will be open till 9pm each evening of the conference. Ike’s Books and Collectables is a unique out-of-print bookshop, established in 1988. Few visitors to Ike’s do not experience the welcoming wonder that envelops all who mount its well-worn wooden stairs, and many encounter a serendipitous bibliophilic ‘find’ among the shelves. To come into Ike’s is to enter a unique, ‘world-between-worlds’, where the past, in all its humours, is still vibrant and accessible, and where the future is being shaped through the interaction and understanding that fuels the flame of hope.

Dates & Time: Opening: 4th-11th August, 10am-9pm
Where:Ikes books
Cost: Free to public and Delegates

Phansi Museum

Experiencing Phansi is experiencing a realm where the line between ‘museum’ and ‘gallery’ is blurred – the traditional dusty cabinets and tableaux found in most traditional ethnographic museums are replaced by contemporary, innovative displays which place a precious but living value on the artefacts. The museum is housed in Roberts House, a fully restored Victorian National Monument. It is home to spectacular displays of Zulu beadwork, earplugs, wire baskets, milk-pails, beer-pots, fertility dolls, Ndebele blankets and ceremonial items, with artefacts from the Eastern Cape, Namibia and Kenya. The museum hosts visits by guided tour. To book call 031 206 2889 / 083 450 3270, or email info@phansi.com. Visit www.phansi.com or www.facebook.com/PhansiMuseum for more information.

Dates & Time: Opening: Monday – Friday 8:00-16:00
Where: 41 Cedar Road, Glenwood
Cost: Free to public and Delegates

Dirty Linen – the ‘other’ Durban

This exhibition visually ‘airs’ the city of Durban’s shameful colonial and apartheid urban past from the 1870s to the1980s and traces the spatial evolution of a colonial city that relegated its workers and 'undesirables' to the 'backyard'. The embryonic town, flanked by twovleis, established an African and Indian workers’ compound in the Eastern vlei and engineered a 'Coolie location', which evolved into a 'non-European' CBD, adjacent to the Western vlei. The evolution of these two main 'non-European' enclaves is explored through the narrative of the ‘other’ Durban shaped by the systems of Indian indentured labour and African migrant labour, the system of control known as the Durban system and a host of other legislative measures to segregate, control, confine and ultimately remove 'non-Europeans' from what was conceived as a 'European' city. Organised by the Durban University of Technology’s ROCS research project, the ‘Dirty Linen’ exhibition will be aired in the heart of the Warwick Junction precinct, in an old building that survived the destructive system of apartheid forced removals.

Dates & Time: 4th August to 11 August 2014, 09H30 to 15H30
Where:  Warwick Junction Project Centre, 22 Stratford Road, Warwick Junction.
Cost: Free to public and Delegates

“Armed women clamouring for closure of all Beer Halls”.

Building Resilient Communities Through Art and Craft

The Durban African Art Centre is a non-profit organisation which believes that creativity can effect considerable social change. This belief is achieved through projects which involve partnering with economically disadvantaged people in addressing the challenges of unemployment and poverty. This has led to the production of products which rise above the usual assortment of craft found at local markets and curio stores. A series of exhibitions of these products will be on display, including traditional telephone wire and Ilala Palm basketry, beaded jewellery, traditional Zulu ceramics, story cloth embroideries, textiles and Fine Art. These exhibitions will expose KwaZulu-Natal as the hotbed for creative talent and demonstrate the resourcefulness and potential of its people in finding solutions to their problems. The exhibitions will include demonstrations by crafters which will instil an understanding of their work and show how the production of art and craft can build resilience in disadvantaged communities.

Dates & Time: Monday - Friday 08.30-17.00, Saturday 09.00-15.00
Where: African Art Centre, 94 Florida Road, Morningside.
Cost: Free to public and Delegates

Temporary Exhibition for the New Durban Central City Library

The 15000square meter New Durban Central City (NDCC) Library constitutes an investment of approximately R500m by both local and provincial government with planned completion in 2018. A project of this magnitude has clear catalytic spin-offs for the city physically and as a centre for knowledge sharing, culture and learning. Located in the ‘heart’ of Durban’s CBD, the NDCC Library is seen as instrumental in the regeneration of the inner city. During the UIA2014 Congress, the eThekwini Municipality will be showcasing the library project initiative through an exhibition on the library development, as a point of contact for the public and all stakeholders, as an area for community participation to occur, as well as a public interface to view progress of the library. The intention is to have the exhibition remain on site for the duration of the construction until completion of the library.

Dates & Time: 4th- 7th August 8am - 6pm, thereafter Mon-Fri 8am - 4.30pm, Sat 8am - 1pm. (open during entire UIA event)
Where: Gugu Dlamini Park, adjacent to the ICC
Cost: Free to public and Delegates


Art Deco inspired Jewellery exhibition

In 2005 ARROWSA started a project to raise funds by exhibiting and selling artworks. The exhibitions hosted by Bergtheil Museum were linked to the CCMS, UKZN and the San/Bushmen Kalahari artists and from 2008 involved a collaboration with the DUT Jewellery students. The main outcomes are to promote a sharing of arts, culture and heritage that emphasizes similarities and educate on differences. It was decided that the 2014 exhibition would be hosted at the Old Court House Museum and the Jewellery Students would exhibit locally inspired contemporary pieces relating in particular to Durban’s rich Art Deco architectural heritage. The exhibition is open during the UIA conference and will offer the organisers another event which can contribute to the conferences fringe programme.

Dates & Time: 5 Aug – 30 Sept
Where: Old Court House Museum, 77 Samora Machel Street
Cost: Free to public and Delegates

Urban Durban : 400 sqm of art

This exhibition showcases the work of several KZN based artists, with a special focus on street culture in an urban sub-tropical vibe. Permanent elements of the exhibition include mural art and large scale sculptural and lighting installations. Elements such as urban photography, Mahala street print and video installations, surfing and skateboard installations and KZN furniture design will be on display for the duration of the UIA2014 Congress. Established and emerging local artists, including Themba Shibase, will be exhibiting original prints, drawing and paintings.

Dates & Time: 3-10 August, 3PM - 9 PM
Where: 8 Morrison Warehouse, on 8 Morrison Street, Rivertown.
Cost: Free to public and Delegates
Photo credit: Wesley van Eeden
Photo credit: Wesley van Eeden

Working in Warwick

This exhibition of award-winning photographs by the acclaimed photographer, Dennis Gilbert, was first installed at the Durban Art Gallery in 2009. It was subsequently donated to the city’s prestigious art collection. The portfolio was commissioned for the book Working in Warwick: Including Street Traders in Urban Plans by authors Richard Dobson, an architect and Caroline Skinner, a development researcher. The selected images presented provide a fresh look at integrating street traders into urban plans in a way that adds to the vibrancy and attraction of cities. The eThekwini Municipality’s Warwick Junction Urban Renewal Project, established in 1995 has received domestic and international acclaim for its active support for street traders.

Dates & Time: 02 – 09 August 2014. 08:00 – 17:00 daily
Where: Warwick Junction Exhibition Space, intersection of Denis Hurley and Joseph Nduli Streets, start of Brook Street Market
Cost: Free to public and Delegates


The Stowaways project is a documentation of the lives of Tanzanian stowaways who live under, and amongst, highways in Cape Town’s Foreshore region. The researcher has photographed this community of around 150-200 men since 2010 to try and demystify their transient existence and place their highly irregular mission within the history and future history of this contested part of Cape Town’s littoral region. The project will be realised in the form of a 24-page newspaper that will be placed within the public realm. The newspaper compliments an academic paper which is part of the official UIA2014 programme.

Dates & Time: 3-10 August, 3PM - 9 PM
Where: Streets of Durban, 8 Morrison Warehouse, on 8 Morrison Street, Rivertown.
Cost: Free to public and Delegates


This project will see five student and five professional photographers from the Durban Centre for Photography (DCP) embark on a five-month long project to create a ‘visual audit’ of the city of Durban. This entails the photographic documentation of various aspects of the city and its peripheries to better understand the dynamics of contemporary urbanisation patterns and emerging urban cultures. The project will describe the physical route from peri-urban Cato Manor to Warwick Avenue, Grey Street, Central Durban, Point Road and the beach front promenade. As such, the project will photographically document new urban patterns, emerging cultures andnew spatial forms, to explore the notion of ‘people in space, make place’. The outcomes of this project are presented to delegates and the general public in an exhibition, a cine-concert in collaboration with IFAS, and through the publication of a book.

Dates & Time: 5-24 August, Tuesday to Friday: 9am - 5pm, Saturday: 9am - 4pm, Sunday, public holidays: 10am - 3pm
Where: KZNSA, 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood
Cost: Free to public and Delegates

Other Museums

Museums worth a visit include:

Killie Campbell Africana Museum:

Houses a fascinating collection of pieces of Zulu art, books and photographs that tell the history of the Zulu’s and Natal. It also boasts an ethnology collection, pieces of furniture and precious sculptures. (220 Gladys Mazibuko Road, open Tuesday and Thursday only)

KwaMuhle Museum:

Located a short walk from the ICC, this museum documents the troubled Apartheid era, describing the harsh life in that period. The exhibited photos show images of a city in search of its identity during changing times.

Gandhi Museum and Phoenix Settlement:

Established in 1904 by Mahatma Gandhi, visit Gandhi's house, his International Printing Press and Museum. A short distance away, you can visit the school established by the first president of the ANC, John Dube, also the site of Nelson Mandela’s historic vote in the first democratic elections of 1994. Advisable to take a tour.