shebeen /SHəˈbēn/

- about: the project -

The project seeks to explore the complex nature of urbanism in Sweet Home Farm through an examination of the role of shebeens. The project entails a partnership and intellectual collaboration between the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation and UrbanWorks Architecture and Urbanism. The project was partially funded through the Sustainable Livelihood Foundation’s Formalising Informal Micro-Enterprises (FIME) Project. We acknowledge the financial support of South African Breweries towards this Project. Thanks to Alexandra from UrbanWorks for developing the web-site and the research team: Thiresh (architectural drawings) and Bronwyn (photographs) of UrbanWorks and Andrew (project coordination) Leif (analysis), Siwe (community facilitation) and Khaya (translation and facilitation) of Sustainable Livelihoods.

The project seeks to investigate this broader role of the shebeeen, examining it as a space (where people meet, socialise and drink) as well as the particular characteristics of place that distinguish one shebeen from another. Through an urbanism perspective, the project provides a unique insight into the impact of shebeens on life within Sweet Home Farm, highlighting the varying influence of different shebeens on the way people drink, engage socially and connect through business and cultural linkages.