In 2006 something broke. A culmination of events – I had bought a house in Port Elizabeth. Drug dealers moved in next door. They housed prostitutes that would scream to be let out during the day then were drugged at night and let out onto the streets. They returned night after night for more drugs. I reported the drug dealers to the police and so started a fight I would never win. First my car was stolen. The lead drug dealer came to me the next day and said, “We took your car last night to cover the loss of the drugs the police took because you reported us.” I learnt, in my battle with forces I didn’t understand, how deep corruption lies and also how there are some battles that can’t be won.
A homage to all of those who struggle with past trauma and wish to be free of the internal pain and shame that has weaved itself to our bones. My only way forward sometimes is to think that I am not alone and that there are others walking the world who sometimes struggle as I do. May we all find peace. May we all find happiness. May we know that no feeling, not even the most painful, can last.
I recently returned to the Eastern Cape for a hike that started at the mouth of the Kowie river and ended at the mouth of the Fish River. We zig zagged our way from the coast into the interior and back again tromping through the coastal and riverine forests of the Riet river and canoeing up the Kleinemonde. The final day was a long and hot trail along the coast until we reached the Great Fish. The river that is symbolic of so much of the division that still holds South Africa in its clutches.
This is a video-art-protest by artist, Mark Wilby. Most of Mark’s work questions our starry-eyed view of Capitalism. He takes on the rhino trading as one such example of the ridiculous violence this ideology manifests in the world. He put out a call to people to come and participate in this recording of this tongue-in-cheek news broadcast and so we did..
Mark also produced ‘Sorry China’ where he appeals to people to send their toenails to the Chinese embassy as a last helpless stand against the slaughter of the rhino’s.
He also created a ‘reality show’ along with social media where normal people spent time together trying to figure out what to do. This he called ‘The Cliptivists’.
‘1 in 9’ production at the Grahamstown Festival, 2007
In 2007 a horrific rape and murder happened in Grahamstown. A small group of people gathered together to dialogue about the level of gender violence in our town and in South Africa. This dialogue led to a play in honour of the women that lost their lives in Grahamstown and all who suffer from gender violence every day in South Africa. It was a play that was not scripted but workshopped by an even smaller group of ordinary people under the sensitive and strong guidance of Athina Copteros, the director. I was one of those ordinary people..
This installation was created by artist, Elaine Matthews Venter. She asked a few crazy dancers to participate in her installation during the Grahamstown Arts Festival in 2000. Everyday we would madly dance in and around her Labyrinth to the fiddle of Lawrence Sisitka.