South Africa’s unifying brand, Castle Lager has joined forces with six dynamic and diverse contemporary artists ahead of Heritage Day to honor and celebrate the significance that the South African public holiday carries.
The six creatives put together a unique design adaption of the South African Flag, which saw the collaborative effort between the beer brand and the six young artists beautifully culminating in a significant reveal of the flag at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on Monday, 24 September 2018.
Each of the six artists was tasked with designing a portion of the flag that would depict a South African culture other than their own. By doing so, the young creatives were provided with an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a culture outside of their comfort zone, with the objective to bring about an understanding of others.
Any preconceived ideologies that they may have held about the different culture were soon put aside and subsequently smashed.
Johannesburg-based illustrator and art director, Lazi Mathebula’s cultural background is in Zulu roots, however for this particular project, he had to focus on and study the Afrikaans culture.
Proud Mosotho, Karabo Poppy describes herself as being “ dedicated to the cultural preservation of the South African aesthetic” and her cultural enthusiasm paid off, as she had to focus on the Venda culture for the project.
Modise Sepeng who is a Motswana, is a multi-faceted artist whose illustrations explored notions of integrated African roots and for this campaign he focused on the Ndebele culture. English Illustrator, Dillion Harland general draws his inspiration from the country’s diversity and the day to day lives of South Africans. His flag representation was of the Zulu cultural group while Zulu illustrator, Simphiwe Mongole focused on the Sotho culture. The Xhosa cultural group is the sixth and final cultural group represented on the flag, and this was accomplished by Afrikaans illustrator and graphic designer, Kobie Nieuwoudt.
Following Castle Lager’s flagship launch of the #SmashTheLabel campaign in July 2018, the flag reveal is one of the many ways in which the brand is actively involved in unifying South Africans. Castle Lager’s Brand Director Vaughan Croeser said:
“Our brand messaging and ethos are built firmly on the very ideal which forms as the basis of this campaign which is simply put – to come together as South Africans and unite. On this Heritage Day, we joined forces with six dynamic young artists for this creation which was unveiled today. However, this act goes beyond just the beauty and aesthetic of the flag, the true beauty lies in that the artists had to step out of their comfort zones and fully dedicate their time, intellect and passion to learn about another culture. If they can do it, so can ordinary South Africans. Ultimately the only way to debunk stereotypes is to have a better understanding of other cultures.”
“In a recent study conducted in partnership with Kantar Added Value, we found that exposure to other cultures nurtures appreciation for that culture. Even if you don’t agree with the customs or practices, the act of understanding it and respecting it helps us find a sense of belonging. South Africa has such rich and diverse cultures, and we should do more to learn from each other.” – Croeser.
The flag reveal is accompanied by a 1.5 minute long video piece which relays how the artists conceptualized the flag designs and is available for all to see on YouTube and the Castle Lager website.
For further engagement with this masterpiece, the Constitution Hill museum, will host the flag for the duration of the Heritage Month as part of their West Wing exhibition collection. Entry is free.