Features

Lake

Introduction

Urban man-made bodies of water such as lakes can be sources of aesthetic beauty and leisure and can boost a city’s economy and tourism industry. They satisfy what Alex Loftus has called the ‘sensuous human activity that fulfils particular historically defined social needs’ (Loftus, 2007: 43). But the same human activity and the intensification of urbanization have also transformed …

Features

Art

Cape Mongo is a multimedia installation that focuses on consumer waste as medium and subject. It is a complex artwork, comprising sculpture using found materials (mostly what viewers would consider waste or trash), performance, and video work. The main narrative feature of the work is a series of fantastical-looking creatures made from either glass, cardboard, tin cans, plastic, VHS tapes …

Features

Poop

For colonial officials in British East Africa, African excrement endangered public health because Africans were reckless defecators. The world was their toilet, and they simply went where they pleased. Indeed, in 1866, David Livingston suggested Zanzibar be renamed “Stinkibar”: “The stench from a mile and a half to two miles of sea-beach, which is the general depository of the filth …

Features

Dump

 

South Africa, 1994. Apartheid before, democracy after. Nonetheless, obstinate continuities stretch across this important rupture. Bisasar Road Landfill, the largest registered landfill on the African continent, constitutes a site of such a continuity, inviting obstinacies of various kinds. It is these obstinacies that have lured me to this particular “dump.”

Dumps, along with landfills, incinerators, waste-to-energy plants are technologies …

Features

Port

Indian Ocean port cities are worlds of coral and glass. Consider Lamu or Zanzibar on the East African coast with their labyrinthine old towns where ornate buildings made of smooth grey coral stone stand in various states of ruin along narrow and winding lanes echoing long histories of trade and mobility. If coral indexes a distant past of commerce and …