DAY 35: Understanding tolerance and cultural bias by finding common ground

by Craig Dunlop, Cape Town, South Africa, 22 July 2017

The Bridge: a cardgame to cross cultural exchange

Challenging cross cultural bias

Any balanced, well functioning community understands the importance of connecting regularly to imagine…….

Art, music, storytelling and even sharing food are ways we imagine and create, without even thinking about it.

These communities understand that creativity breeds innovation and innovation breeds progress.

In a divided community, we still create, but just for the wrong reasons. Destruction, Crime, and dishonesty require imagination, except its imagination that divides deeper and further.

This is the case with our community. Nestled in a beautiful valley, 30 minutes from Cape town, is Hout bay. Divided by apartheid spatial planning, the three communities who call it home, may as well live in different countries. Divided by language, culture and perceived social standing, the community is at a loss, at how to connect.

In 2013, Workspace, a community workshop was opened as a platform for knowledge, skills and resource exchange across the social, cultural and generational divides.

Through creativity and making, we aim to bridge the divide within our community, whilst, at the same time, empowering, finding economic opportunities and building social capital.

During 2017, an international program called One hundred days of Learning arranged 100 learning experiences in different places around the world. This formed part of the Age of Wonderland program developed for Dutch Design Week, held in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Workspace was fortunate to be part of this event and on the 22nd of July hosted a group of young people from different communities within Hout bay to take part in a day of learning.

The event took the form of a card game, aptly called “The Bridge”. The game, developed by Workspace founder Craig Dunlop, seeks to address stereotyping and to stimulate dialogue between groups within diverse communities.

The Bridge is a simple card game where participants draw, decorate and annotate blank cards in response to provocative questions around cultural difference. The cards are then shuffled and used as a basis for storytelling. The game culminates in a final round where random groups are formed and play for food item rewards. A menu is then decided and the meal is communally cooked and shared.

The game came out of a need to provoke different cultural groups, who attend programs at Workspace, to interact with each other at a normal level without the interference of their cultural bias.

The Bridge was hosted by social activists, Craig Dunlop and Welcome Witbooi.

See here for a video clip of the day: https://youtu.be/0d7rvGetkbI

www.workspace.org.za