The Film Industry and South African Urban Change

Research paper by Gustav Visser

Indexed on: 04 Aug '13Published on: 04 Aug '13Published in: Urban Forum


Internationally there has been considerable discussion on the role that creative industries play as a strategy by which post-Fordist cities can revive stagnant urban economies. Among those sectors of the economy that form part of the creative industries, the filming sector counts as one. On the whole, these debates have been conducted with reference to the post-industrial cities of the north. Little attention has been placed on the role of the filming sector in the developing south generally, its spatial distribution, and its relationship to other economic and social geographies in those urban places. The paper provides a spatial analysis of the filming industry in urban South Africa and relates it to general economic and social geographies in two South African cities that have identified the filming industry as a key development strategy. In addition, an agenda for future research, in particular pertaining to urban South Africa is outlined. It is concluded that there is a broader urban planning and geography project at hand. Questions need to be asked about how the filming industry interacts with other government programmes and the ongoing transformation of physical and symbolic spaces in urban South Africa.