‘Queer artivists’ occupy Camps Bay mansion to highlight land, housing issues

Seven people, calling themselves queer artivists and operating under the #WeSeeYou, formally booked the house last week and now say they won’t move in protest.

A view of Camps Bay in Cape Town. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN – A Cape Town group who have occupied a Camps Bay mansion said that they were hoping to stay at the luxury house for two to three months to make their point.

Seven people, calling themselves queer artivists and operating under the #WeSeeYou, formally booked the house last week and now say they won’t move in protest.

They want their action to draw attention to land and housing matters.

The mansion in Camps Bay has six rooms, a pool and a jacuzzi and comes with a high daily price tag.

The activists said that they’d been planning their action for months.

Kelly-Eve Koopman said that in order to gain access to the venue, they paid for three nights’ accommodation and Tuesday marked their second unpaid day.

But now that they’re in the house, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

Koopman said that they wanted to draw attention to the lack of safe spaces queer people, women and children and for those who are landless and cannot afford their rent.

“All artists and creatives have made art an essential part of our kind of public education ideology.”

Koopman said that during the COVID-19 pandemic and now, many of the holiday properties remained vacant even though there was an urgent need for housing.

“The occupiers are not treated with dignity, they’re harassed by police. People can’t access land at home where women, children and queer people cannot access safe accommodation.”

Koopman said they’ve had enough of what they considered to be a broken system and their occupation was a way of drawing attention to that.

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