Very Real Time is a performance-based art project which has been located in Cape Town, South Africa since 2003. Until recently the project has primarily taken the form of residencies focusing on the production of ephemeral projects and interaction between artists and the local communities in the city.
Very Real Time is presently renewing its engagement with the city, with the project FAR OUT, focused in Atlantis, a satellite town constructed by the apartheid government, 50 kilometres from Cape Town. Working with the community dance group, SWAGG UNITED Dance Crew, this project uses video, fashion, and personal networks to create vital links in Cape Towns' historically divided urban fabric. SWAGG UNITED was founded by Elsalene Salligee in 2016 as a means to give kids in Atlantis a means to stay safe from gang violence, have constructive fun and finish school. The group practices outdoors and functions largely on pure goodwill. There is a miraculous quality to this creation of beauty in the face of abject difficulty, which remains largely invisible to the outside world. FAR OUT seeks to create connections for this project as means to overcome problems of economic fragility, distance and isolation.
This project was born out of a symposium organised by African Centre for Cities (University of Cape Town) in 2018, and is in collaboration with A4 Arts Foundation, the photographer, Pieter Hugo, and film-maker ; Teboho Edkins.