CommonGrounds: Musonda Kabwe’s Social Experiment That’s Connecting People

Musonda Kabwe customized the denim jackets of 50 different people to create common ground beyond social constructs and bias.

Musonda Kabwe is an artist and illustrator born in Zambia and who grew up in Johannesburg.

We recently featured Müs and his talent for creating powerful visual messages on the Bayeza 2018 list.

A new project he conceptualised is called CommonGrounds. This is a social experiment which uses media influences to draw connections between people from various backgrounds, to start conversations about their similarities and differences, in a space where people can inquire into their differences with sincere curiosity and find a place of common ground.

In designing CommonGrounds, Müs collected and customized 50 denim jackets with a portrait on the back of the jacket. Each jacket tells a different story and is a unique representation of the owner based on their answers from an interview questionnaire, which asked for 3 of their favourite cartoon characters, 3 favourite pop culture personalities & 3 favourite influential people from their chosen career path.

The artist describes the idea behind CommonGrounds. “Never have we lived in a more connected yet isolated world than today. Oscillating between isolations and connections, trapped in social media echo-chambers that reinforce the positive and negative aspects of our character. It becomes harder to find tangible points of connection with those who do not share our similarities or differences in identity, culture, beliefs, and perspectives. Being open and accepting one another, can make you feel uncomfortable. Tolerance is never easy, but in doing so, we begin to understand what brings us together and what divides us.

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