photographie ©Gino Maccarinelli
Christophe Hutin : Carin, in Soweto we are doing a studio which you take part, is called « Learning From SKY » where SKY means Soweto Kliptown Youth. It's a workshop where we try to upgrade collectively the living condition in the informel settlement of Kliptown. It's a question of architecture but also a way to teach. What do you think about this experience ?
Carin Smuts : I think it's an incredibly important way of teaching or bringing information across, because I think people always think that you can only learn by receiving something from another person who knows more than you, which is exactely the opposite, in fact I think that's the worse way of learning. It's much better to discover, and everybody discovers in another way whereas if you have to listen to one person telling you something you're just hearing that's person's opinion and you're not discovering for yourself what are the lessons that you can learn for yourself. That's what I like about the « Learning From » studio is doing, it's enormously challenging because you got the dynamics of different people getting involved, you've got SKY with all his complexities then you have the students from the University of Johannesburg that came, and we all have complexities.
We're all behaving in ways that we think we'd be usefull but we can learn from each other because maybe something we do is actually not relevant in this context. That's very interesting. For instance, the lack of electricity in Kliptown is fondamental, it's an interesting concept because for us to get a drill or things that works with electricity, that's the first things that come to our mind ! We want a hose pipe but there is no hose pipe in Kliptown, so we take things for granted and I think that's the lesson for me, there's so many things we take for granted and that we can learn from these kind of context. SKY can teach us, that's very good.