Nadine Botha


Prizes: Gijs Bakker Award Winner

Department: Design Curating and Writing

The Politics of Shit

How bad do things need to get to make you throw shit as a form of political protest? The socio-spatial apartheid that continues in Cape Town over 20 years since democracy has resulted in ongoing ‘toilet wars’. The portable flush toilet has become a symbol for all that is wrong. Local settlements still lack plumbing and portable toilets were a quick fix that soon proved inoperable. ‘The Politics of Shit’ by Nadine Botha explores how these toilets have made invisible social, legal, political and psychological design systems visible.
She also proposes a Portable Museum as a place where residents, activists, thinkers and designers can share ideas, creating the exhibition together. The content is fed into the internet to counter the hegemonic media coverage. It’s about amplifying and multiplying the voices of those working to upend the system, using design as a tool for allyship and proactive citizenry.
In addition, a Portabotty digital chatbot is an experiment in conversational storytelling. Each user is led through the Cape Town story differently, according to their interests and background knowledge. Humorous memes make the challenging political topic more accessible. Memes have proved to be powerful political instigators able to bypass AI, which has not yet learned to moderate images based on content.

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Nicole Marnati