The research starts off with a photograph capturing an intriguing juxtaposition of benches. One, crafted from sturdy stone, basks in the sunlight along a bustling thoroughfare, harkening back to the era of the old mining company. The other two, fashioned from wood, find shelter in the cool shade next to a soccer field, a testament to the city’s residents’ handiwork. This image encapsulates the intricate layers of Moengo’s history as a former mining hub in search of a fresh identity.
Drawing inspiration from Moengo’s benches, this dissertation delves into an exploration of the cultural significance inherent in the local woodworking craftsmanship and its potential role in revitalizing this former bauxite city.
The bench serves as a focal point in this carefully designed participatory action research endeavour. Collaboratively crafting benches with the local populace unveils the diverse stakeholders within Moengo’s woodworking sector. Subsequently, we examine how these stakeholders and their interconnected relationships can be nurtured to fortify the woodworking heritage of Moengo, ultimately providing a solution to the urban decay that plagues the city.