To­day Africa To­mor­row Yurope

CityPress - - Voices & Careers - GAR­RETH VAN NIEK­ERK gar­reth.van­niek­erk@city­

Mem­ory Card Sea Power by David South­wood and Sean Christie Fourth­wall Books R200 24 pages In Mem­ory Card Sea Power, we join pho­tog­ra­pher David South­wood and writer Sean Christie in a spec­tac­u­lar broad­sheet read that un­folds 5 me­tres wide.

Through text and vi­su­als, they tell the ex­tra­or­di­nary sto­ries of a home­less com­mu­nity of Tan­za­nian stow­aways who live to­gether un­der a high­way bridge on the Cape Town Fore­shore.

The duo has come to­gether in black and white “to con­vey the full char­ac­ter of the stow­aways’ lives – their laugh­ter, the lilt of Swahili, the vivid­ness of the high­way em­bank­ments on a sunny day” – with­out “sit­u­at­ing them in the mar­ginal en­vi­rons in ques­tion”.

The broad­sheet gets its name from the unof­fi­cial leader of the bridge-dwelling Tan­za­ni­ans, Adam, AKA Mem­ory Card – a cen­tral fig­ure in the story.

“Adam is an out­cast boy from Tan­za­nia. His daddy, who he never knew, is from Greece. His poor mummy is a black girl from a place called Mb­w­era, where the peo­ple are all witches,” Adam tells Christie and South­wood, talk­ing about him­self in the third per­son.

“They call me Mem­ory Card be­cause I al­ways re­mind the boys what is good and what is bad be­hav­iour. “I’m a peace­maker. I don’t like to see peo­ple fight­ing.” The au­thors first en­counter his name on a wall, scrib­bled in per­ma­nent marker along­side other slo­gans they can’t quite un­der­stand – Aver Theang Is­goabe Orite (Ev­ery­thing is go­ing to be al­right); the power of sea for­ever and ever; sea­man life no story only ac­tion; To­day Africa To­mor­row Yurope. Where did th­ese strange sen­tences come from? Who wrote them on the walls of the bridge? Why were they writ­ten? The reader will find the an­swers in South­wood’s stark and grainy images, and Christie’s de­tailed text.


TheTh Cape Town Fore­shore

lay­out Wan­der­ing around

the port pr­port

P ark in Nel­son Man­dela The stow­aways

Un­pack­ing a suit­case

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