The Rock Girl Safe Spaces Campaign is a public art and education initiative that is partnering with artists and designers to design and create symbolic and real safe spaces around South Africa. The campaign was inspired by a group of Grade 7 learners from Manenberg who are making their school safer. The first Safe Space bench and the first Safe Space Room were created there in 2011 – and these young people have now prompted the creation of an additional 30 Safe Space benches and spaces around the city of Cape Town. The campaign is now spreading to Johannesburg, where the first Safe Space bench, sponsored by Investec, will be installed in mid-2012. Each Safe Space bench or room in an urban area has a sister bench in a more disadvantaged community, school, NGO, or institution.
Rock Girl aims to create real safe spaces in some of the most dangerous, challenged communities in Cape Town. At the same time, Rock Girl hopes to create symbolic safe spaces to raise awareness and unite men and women, boys and girls in the effort to end violence against women and girls.
Rock Girl believes that the desire to create safe spaces is one that breaks down cultural, racial, economic, social, and professional barriers. This forms the foundation of our work. Rock Girl does not dictate what the spaces, benches, or projects should look like but instead allows designers and community members to work together towards a shared vision.