Give me honey Any day And I’ll find a place for Sweet to counter the bitter. We move through our days Trying to keep our stories On the margin of our memories Trying to be present to What we encounter in the moment. Then… As I have, We just move on. Or is it that […]Reflections #2: Honey is Home — Fiesta Estrellas
I chose this post and image for my reblog. The choice for today might have been inspired by my blogging friend Janet Weight Reed at the same time as I was reviewing my past poetry to begin my next publication. This drawing is linked together with my poem “Honey is Home“ that appeared in my publication of Art for Art, 2017.
The drawing above is my own; I probably should have signed my art when I was in my teens and making it, circa 1995. This is a portrait of one of my best friends, Jana. I did it in a cubist style, inspired by Picasso and Paul Cézanne. In the 20th early century, Cubism was a new movement in art where subjects were depicted with multiple perspectives, and nature was often interpreted through a geometric shapes. I didn’t know it at the time, but Picasso was not only inspired by Cézanne but he was inspired by African art. African art appealed to my soul from a very young age, all forms of African art, including music and drum signatures. This was a theme that continued for me well past the time I visited S. Africa, and into the present as I enjoy playing djembe in the local Women’s Drum Circle.
Due to apartheid, townships were places that could be very dangerous for white people to go. It’s understandable why. Because white people created and enforced apartheid, and destroyed homes and lives in the process. White people destroyed a whole people. Since my educational trip was focused on service and expanding the minds of Westerners, I was admitted into these exclusive spaces which, as I said, existed as a direct result of heinous racism which drove blacks from their homes and communities.
“The Apartheid (1948 to 1994) in South Africa was the racial segregation under the all-white government of South Africa which dictated that non-white South Africans (a majority of the population) were required to live in separate areas from whites and use separate public facilities, and contact between the two groups would be limited. The different racial group were physically separated according to their location, public facilities and social life.”source
I was an anthropology student at the time of this visit to a township in Capetown, S. Africa. As an artist, photographer, and a person devoted to the mission of sharing the beauty of these communities with my then very small reach, I took pictures of these children with permission. The following is one of the many images I photographed of some of the township children. These children were so cute. I was in love with them. Interestingly, the people in the township often had designer clothes, but lived in very, very poor conditions–without electricity, and even lived in shacks that were put together with reclaimed materials. Why did they have designer clothes? Well, just ask yourself what all the wealthy of the Western world do with their designer clothes? It’s increasingly happening among the extreme wealth of the whole world, not just the West. The clothing is expendable and tossed down the line through donation. See this post for my short discussion on disposable goods and consumerism. So this is how you can have designer clothing and can be extremely poor. Kind of changes the status of designer clothing, doesn’t it? These old neighborhoods, before apartheid, these communities had street signs and livelihood. They had roads, and owned their own land. “
Between 1960 and 1994 over three and a half million people were forcibly removed to the homelands.Their land was taken away from them and sold to white farmers at very low prices.People were unable to make a living in the homelands, and many had to work as migrant labourers in the cities of South Africa. (source)
I was there in 2001, and sadly, by 2014 (see article linked below), not much has changed. Racism is cruel.
From 2014 article, a resident explained, “When it rains, the public toilets overflow into my living room,” she says. “Water comes in through the ceiling and the electricity stops working (Guardian)” See links below for more information.