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 …

Features

Detritus

I employed the category ‘detritus’ in the early 2000s to diagnose the different kinds of residues of racial capitalism with which people struggled in the shadows of South Durban’s oil refineries. These residues ranged from various attempts at documenting the effects of industrial pollution, to the many ways in which people confronted the embodied and sensual remains of apartheid’s racial …