Today Africa Tomorrow Yurope
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