“Ode to an Architect” a Matri-Archi short film

Matri-Archi welcomes you to it’s first film, “Ode to an Architect” coproduced by Khensani de Klerk and Giorgi Young.

The film was screened last week Friday at the Drawing Room in Observatory. The space sought out to manifest a physical form of Matri-Archi fostering critical dialogue. Prioritizing and bringing attention to the dis/misplacement of black bodies in space, the film seeks to evoke a sense of urgent responsibility in designers and governance to address amending Apartheid planning, which has been created by our discipline. Architecture, design and planning need to become tools for social justice, and Matri-Archi believes this to be an inevitability. The question of how soon, is imperative.


Ode to an Architect

“I walk down the pavement,
Down a pavement,
Wedged in between concrete walls
Buildings, reflecting and peaking
For the sky.
Reminding me of my people.
Looking up
In constant sight of the light
That we’ve been shaded from
In the alleys of the cold moist city
In the shadows of signs
And symbols.
Do not be fooled
We are not where we deserve to be
Soaking in the sun
Our skin absorbing ever last ray
Golden and glistening
Drifting through the waves
Nyoni ya manzi
Bird of the ocean
Step onto the land
Feel the soil.
Where is the soil?
The permanence of this imposed pavement
Etched into the skin of my soil
My soul
Ebb and flow
Wash away our oppression.
For we are merely floating
Black bodies
Black objects
In the water
Miles above
Our land
Far removed.
Constant pollution
White noise
Designed to mute the black body
Do you see me?
Don’t get me wrong,
I do not need your validation,
I only question your humanity
Your ability
To see past a black body
To see me as a black woman
An heir to this very land you’ve stolen
Have you no memory?
Don’t try to begin to ask
What life would be like
Without your science
Your cars
Your buildings
Your concrete
Because you robbed us of the chance to
Our hidden uncovered
Ways of knowing
We cannot compare.
So don’t.
I remain a visitor.
I remain removed
No place.
We find belonging not in space,
But only in each other.
So then?
I question you,
The architect?
Us, the architects.
Moving through the city
Bumping against buildings, eroding public space.
Lived lines.
Architects of place,
Do not forget
Your capacity
Your ability
Your responsibility
To restore.”


The event featured artwork from both Ibtishaam Toffar and Darren Coventry (Instagram handles: @ib.create and @darren.creates) as well as incredible music by local artists Under Pressure Sundays (IG: @underpresh) , larsxbars (IG: @larsxbars) and OBAE (IG: @nandi_jpg). [see https://matri-archi.com/2017/07/06/ode-to-an-architect-film-screening-friday-7-july-the-drawing-room/ for more on the artists]


Thank you for coming.

Thank you for engaging with Matri-Archi.

See you next Sunday.


Photos of the space/event to be released soon. Stay tuned to the Facebook page @matriarchitecture


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