The Big Issue: World Design Diary

Nadya Glawé, Slave Tree

The Slave Tree, a sculpture by Nadya Glawé,  draws attention to the spot where the “slave tree” once stood.


The Big Issue selects this month’s MUST-SEE World Design Capital events and exhibitions, and mapmyway will highlight of some of these offerings.


A plain concrete plinth on a traffic island in Spin Street currently pays homage to the spot where the “slave tree” once stood.

There, the merciless activity of slave-selling once took place in Cape Town’s early history. Easily forgotten, these disenfranchised people endured lives of hardship and suffering as they were put to work building the city.

Many of their descendants make up the colourful tapestry of Cape Town and, in order to properly recognise the efforts of these slaves, a temporary public sculpture of a tree is to be erected at the site. Created by artist and designer Nadya Glawé, it’s a beautiful and fitting memorial which will not only create a central place to gather and remember, but also instil a sense of pride. A second part to the project involves collecting messages, stories, names and so on from the public and various communities, which will be written on leaves and hung from the tree.

Nadya Glawé, Slave Tree

Nadya Glawé, Slave Tree

INFO: fb
WHEN: From July 3
WHERE: Spin St, Cape Town 8001