Suraya Scheba and Andreas Scheba

For many urban residents, especially of the global south, city-life is precarious, necessitating practices of survival and resistance. The covid-19 pandemic has intensified this condition, with a massive impact for low-income, largely Black, families and communities in cities around the world, forcing many into make-shift practices, including land and building occupations.  These emerge to maintain a foothold in the city and in response to a system of dispossession. However, many live under threat of eviction, further exacerbating a global health and economic crisis.

Cissie Gool House Zine

This ‘zine’ is part of the ‘City Occupied’ research project, primarily funded by the Capacity Development Acceleration Fund (CDAF), accessed through the GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC). In the pages of this short ‘zine’ we focus on Cissie Gool House in Woodstock, Cape Town. Occupied in 2017 by ‘Reclaim the City’ (RTC), on the site of the old Woodstock Hospital, it is one of the few building occupations on well located land in the central city. In the pages of the zine, residents of Cissie Gool House share short, personal thoughts, including what led to them landing up in the occupation, what they feel it represents in Cape Town today, and their hopes for the future.