Imagining a corruption-free South Africa: UJ students harness the power of speculative design

The creative arts possess a unique ability to challenge the status quo, encouraging critical reflection and serving as a catalyst for change when it comes to pressing social issues. Recently, on the 7th and 8th of August 2023, students from the Multimedia Design Department at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) embarked on a transformative journey by using Speculative Design in the form of a Futures Literacy Lab. Their mission: to envision a South Africa free from corruption.

Viewing the future through the lens of trust, these innovative students sparked vital discussions and amplified the voices of the nation’s youth, who represent the future leaders and decision-makers of South Africa. Their visionary designs painted a vivid picture of an alternative future, one where corruption no longer held sway.

This remarkable initiative was a collaborative effort between UJ’s Multimedia Design Department and the Transparency, Integrity, and Accountability Programme (TIP) in South Africa. TIP is at the forefront of supporting both state and non-state actors in their joint efforts to implement the National Anti-corruption Strategy (NACS). Their approach emphasizes inclusivity, bridging the gap between society and government.

TIP’s work is made possible through the generous support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The program is executed in partnership with the Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DPME) and is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

In a world where corruption often stifles progress and erodes trust, the UJ students’ imaginative journey offers a glimmer of hope. Their Speculative Design approach challenges conventional thinking and encourages society to envision a future that transcends the constraints of corruption.

This pioneering endeavour demonstrates the power of collaboration, as academia and organizations like TIP join forces to inspire change and pave the way for a brighter, more transparent South Africa.

To witness the impact of this creative journey, you can watch the video of their visionary work here:

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