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…
/ tea time reblog /
/ SUMMER SALE — kaeghoro wrks – 12 /
1510 copies – 10 euro a copy
art monograph limited edition package
link to the store – store.kaeghoro.de
_ limited edition of 150
_ 14,8 x 21 cm ( 5,8 x 8,3” )
_ 48 pages & cover
_ 4c offset printing
_ eco friendly and sustainable printing
_ mundoplus 120g/qm & 300g/qm – 100% recycled volume paper
_ one copy of the monograph ( signed & numbered )
_ ‘dweller’ – large sized poster
( 42 x 58,4cm ( 16,5 x 23” ) / 4c offset printing / 115g/qm matte paper / folded )
_ 3 stickers
to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
— Mary Oliver (via observando)
— Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (via observando)
I Have Fallen: photographs of South Africa’s White Poor
1. Hannes Schoeman lives in a tiny corrugated –iron and cement hovel in Lochvaal Emfuleni, a white squatter camp in Vanderbijlpark
2. “A potentially harmful working class would become more manageable if integrated with the white middle class, and turned into a productive labour force,” says Annika Teppo.
Nationalists provided poor whites with jobs through job reservation and ensured that no skilled blacks could advance ahead of them, protected their unions, provided welfare support, housing schemes and social grants.
Since the dawn of democracy however, liberalisation and privatisation of the economy ended their predominance of the state and parastatal industries. Guaranteed jobs before, many of these workers never supplemented their training by studying at trade colleges to get certification. Now having to compete in a globalised world, they are severely vulnerable to job losses.
3. “In the context of the prosperity of whites under apartheid, being white and poor therefore implied being marked in a particular way, as a carrier of a form of deviance,” says sociologist Irma Du Plessis, of Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research.
“The very notion of poor whites was seen as an aberration and therefore couched in the language of disease and contamination.” Similar to stereotypes of Jerry Springer type American white trash, the white poor were “morally deficient, stupid, lazy, drug addicted drunks ,” who were “a waste of white skin.”
4. When the armblanke fled their sharecropper holdings after the Anglo Boer war, agricultural crises and during the 1930’s Depression and streamed into the cities looking for work for many their first home were in the multiracial slums that had sprung up informally around industrial centres. The elite saw the possibility of these poor whites developing class-consciousness and joining a multiracial class struggle against the elite as detrimental to the developing Afrikaner capitalism. With a quarter of Afrikaners living in absolute poverty, the elite made them the cause of Afrikaner nationalism.
5. “I’m not poor; if you’re poor you don’t do anything … I am a businessman; I rent the shacks for R40, the caravan for R100, sell chickens for R20, and sell stuff for recycling.”
On average, it takes three months to collect a decent amount of trash of each category, from which he can earn about R300 each. “It depends on my luck; sometimes it can take six months to get enough to sell.”
6. Frikkie Botha (29) lives with a friend in a sloot — a concrete storm drain — under the Mabopane highway. They live 20m into the drain. His bed is a damp mattress. There are waterstained magazine cut-outs of Afrikaans poppies and charcoal scratchings of the names of various inhabitants, profanity and crude drawings of women graffiti the walls.
7. “Ek het geval [I have fallen].”
After completing his national service, De Vos was employed on the railways as a boilermaker, eventually securing himself a permanent job with the Pretoria City Council. “I even bought my own house.”
Then, when employment equity was introduced, he says he was forced into voluntary retrenchment. “I lost my house, and then my [previous] marriage was gone. I started selling vegetables off my bakkie to survive.” He has since lost the bakkie as he fell further. Now De Vos works as a smous (hawker), making firelighters of his own invention — a secret formula of petrol, styrofoam and plastic that even burns in water — which he sells for R20 a bottle, working seven days a week. His skin is baked to copper from his time on the road. “Living in the tent, every time I come from work, it’s like I’m on holiday,” he laughs. But he doesn’t make enough to properly feed his family.
8. Every Wednesday, Kathleen goes across the road to receive a food parcel from Eleŏs community centre, a job creation project and feeding scheme supported by churches and charities. Kathleen speaking to a woman who acts as a mentor, finds out she pays her maid R60 a day, and asks if she can’t rather come and work for her, the woman curtly says, “No, it’s not work for a white person.”
9. Rosa Cooper and Cornelia Terblanche, a couple, live in a tiny wooden shack at Sonskuin Hoekie.
Rosa was employed as a blockwoman at a butchershop but lost her sight when she developed cataracts. Now almost completely blind she cannot afford to travel to Johannesburg General Hospital to undergo a R70 operation. She says the same surgery in Pretoria would cost nearly R2 000.
10. There are many people living in desperate situations and you may never know it unless you knew what you were looking for. It is a hidden poverty.
Behind their pre-fab walls, Tshwane West houses have large yards and most have Wendy houses, filled with families. Most are without electricity and have no water or toilet facilities.
For most, allowing a family to squat on their properties is a cash business. Too poor to afford deposits on formal accommodation but too scared to squat, many do what they can to pay rent, even if it means not being able to afford food.