Money is the route of all kinds of evil.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognised as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.
It is estimated that over 50% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime and that only 1 in 9 rapes are reported. It is also estimated that only 14% of perpetrators of reported rape are convicted in South Africa.
This past week, I experienced a powerfully evocative art installation by Asanda Kaka and Valentina Argirò addressing (no pun intended!) the silent magnitude of this scourge during Cape Town’s annual public arts festival, Infecting The City.
On approaching the rows of dresses hung on crosses, one’s face materialises in mirrors positioned in the “head” space above the dresses, making it impossible to distance one’s own body from the figures represented.
Venue: Cape Town Station
Date: 14 & 15 MARCH 2014
According to a report issued by UNISA, at least one rape case is reported every four minutes in South Africa – this translates into approximately 360 cases per day. 3600 A Day is an installation of women’s’ clothes, donated by women in support of the project. The exaggerated number of 3600 serves to highlight the magnitude of the problem and the number of unreported cases of violence against women and children. In a visual shock of magnitude, the installation warns against the normalisation of such violence.
Installed on crosses, the dresses represent the individual, yet also communal impact that abuse has on all women and children in this country. Reflected in the mirrors on top of the crosses are the faces of those who approach – possible victims, perpetrators or bystanders.
“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay
I made this sleepless mix in 2003 on a slide into depression after I had to abandon my MA dissertation after three years’ work, like an almost-full-term still birth (I’ve just gone back to give varsity another shot, more than a decade later)… I was djing almost every weekend and hanging out with lost people on drugs talking mostly empty crap at one another until the sun came up. I passed many hours in the company of some beautiful, talented, bored, unhappy, bitter humans… and also a fat complement of irredeemable oxygen thieves. Anything to distract from the rip in the fabric of who I had thought I was, to cackle in the face of hopelessness. It just made me lonelier and lonelier. I would come home with the scabs over the hole in my soul all picked off, and listen to music like this to feel OK.
When we were kids, my dad used to warn us that “late nights make sad mornings”. He was right, though not for the reasons he thought.
1. Velvet Underground – After Hours
2. Dntel – Umbrella
3. Lali Puna – Bi Pet
4. Grauzone – Eisbaer
5. The Kills – Space Race/Electric Horse
6. Suzanne Vega – Fat Man & Dancing Girl
7. Richard Hell & the Voidoids – Blank Generation
8. David Bowie – Kooks
9. Faust – I’ve Got My Car & My TV
10. Wire – I Feel Mysterious Today
11. Sparklehorse – My Yoke Is Heavy
12. Yo La Tengo – The Summer
13. My Bloody Valentine – Off Your Face
14. Adorable – Sunshine Smile
15. Slowdive – Alison
16. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – Forest Fire
17. The Microphones – I Want Wind To Blow
18. Bauhaus – All We Ever Wanted
19. Einstuerzende Neubauten – Blume
20. Madrugada – Hidden track off Grit
21. Pixies – Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf mix)
All the things we yell don’t mean a thing
When we’re spinning out of darkened meadow wind
When we’re flying like we’re Mary’s angels through the shattered glass
When we find that tall dark shadow waiting there with outstretched hands
He has given me a dress of red and you a skin of gray
We’ll be twisting here for hours ’til the light will bring us day
And we’re spread across the open road
And we’re spread across the asphalt on the open road
And we’re streaming in the wind like cassette tape or jellyfish
Long dark veins and records playing memories
(Hear the album version HERE.)
EVERYONE IN SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS TO SEE THIS FILM.
In August 2013, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days later the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. Using the point of view of the Marikana miners, Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low-paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company Lonmin, the government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers. What emerges is a collusion at the top, spiraling violence and the country’s first post-apartheid massacre. South Africa will never be the same again.
Read more about this documentary HERE.