They stand their ground against gender-based violence project NAC, British Council, LHM Durban

Commencement Date

In 2021 the ARROW-INDRA SAUKINDIA project built on the 2020 climate change and culture, clothing, identity and gender issues and hosted the arts for social change Scarecrow project and skill transference workshops funded by National Arts Council in South Africa - see  Be a scarecrow against gender-based violence by ARROWSA, Scarecrows in solidarity by South Roots International and   They Stand Their Ground by ARROWSA. The project was extended in October 2021 to also emphasise the process of using recycled materials for the figures as part of My Phone Call to the World COP26 project. An image from Gorse Hill Studios Textile Woman was also added to two new banners that were added to the exhibition. We nurture our Mother Earth as we should nurture our mothers, sisters and all women and those who are victims of gender-based violence.

The South Roots International team from Cape Town visited the exhibition at Old Court House Museum in Durban in October 2021. To see their reaction to the exhibition iNkululeko Freedom.

As part of the British Council funded Phone Call to the World project, the positive impact of the figures being created out of recycled materials was acknowledged and the project was extended and improved. A monitor was added to the exhibition with videos of the youth speaking about their creations and sharing the original songs and dances that they had created for the project - see launch - Luthando Ngema and Old Court House, Durban Local History Museums

The exhibition moved to the Pine Town Local History Museum in March 2022. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of videos that adds information and provides context to the projects - see They stand their ground videos accompanying exhibition




The partners in the project included South Africa, India and UK:  ARROWSA Bechet led by Bheki Dlamini, Vincent Salanji and Mary Lange, Durban Local History Museums led by Ayanda Ngcobo and Mohau Qalaza, CCMS, UKZN represented by Luyanda Makoba-Hadebe, South Roots International led by Noluthando Shandu and Shanette Martin, Gorse Hill Studios led by Rianna Lynch and Caroline Gleaves, Touchstones Rochdale led by Natalie Crompton and Lisa Allen and SHEF led by Felipe Pozo and Arunima Trivedi.  A number of the skill transference workshops focused on gender issues particularly as related to 'what is gender?', 'What is gender-based violence?' and 'How are power relations evident in the representation of gender in public spaces?'

The project They stand their ground against gender-based violence includes the creation of artworks from recyclable materials and the representation of communities guarding against gender-based violence in the same way that scarecrows guard the crops against predators. The project takes on the form of a campaign - a sustainable campaign as called for by Ayanda Ngcobo and Bheki Dlamini in the 2020 sessions.


She who stands her ground


One of the ARROW-INDRA SAUKINDIA 2021 skills transference workshops was facilitated by multi-media UK artist Maggi Squire (see instagram @maggisquire). Inspired by Maggi's work, the gender focused workshops and personal experiences each partner country endeavoured to create figures from recyclable materials that would represent communities that are victims of gender-based violence.  Each partner was challenged to join in a campaign to stand against gender-based violence in all its forms—in the same way as a scarecrow stands in the ground to protect the crops—we will all  ‘stand our ground’ and not budge in our resolve to guard society, in whatever way we can, against gender-based violence.  


They stand their ground durban city hall