The Social Contract vs The State of Nature (Switzerland and Zimbabwe) 2018 video duration: 14’27” (Thanks to Pro Helvetia)
Dan Halter – Grow Box Project
Land has been a contested issue in southern Africa since the first colonial settlers started to claim it for themselves, thus depriving the local population of this terrain. In order to right this historical injustice, governments in the region have grappled with the idea of land expropriation without compensation. In Zimbabwe the government went ahead with this strategy in the early 2000s. Coming from Zimbabwe I have first-hand experience of how this played out there with mixed results. Recently this issue has re-ignited debate in South African under new President Cyril Ramaphosa.
People like Renshia Manuel living in the townships around Cape Town suffer the terrible legacy of this colonial dispossession. The soil in these areas is often too poor in quality or too polluted to sustain plant life. Using the Grow Box to represent a piece of fertile South African land, I set the stage for this current political debate. Section 25 of the South African Constitution states that no one may be deprived of property. It is this clause that would need to change in order that land may be expropriated without compensation.
Section 74 of the South African Constitution outlines what is required to amend clauses in the Constitution. In parliament, it would require a two-thirds majority out of four hundred seats; 267 votes versus 133. The board game Monopoly was initially created with the intention of showing the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies. Using Monopoly houses and hotels – as metaphors for these votes, I illustrate this majority in parliament. Smaller green houses represent smallholdings in favour of change, whereas the larger red hotels are big business preferring the status quo.
Growbox Project 2019 Monopoly houses, hotel, wheelbarrow and Growbox
Fahrenheit 451 2019 Hand-woven archival ink-jet prints (the entire text of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 199 x 90 cm
The revenge of 400 years is losing its baby teeth (Oaxaca) 2019 Baby teeth and maize cob
Bond Note 2018 Hand-woven archival ink-jet prints 72 x 176 cm
The Social Contract vs The State of Nature (Switzerland and Zimbabwe) video compilation 2018 duration: 46’53” (Thanks to Pro Helvetia)
Mahwani Thousand 2019 Hand-woven archival ink-jet prints 85 x 172 cm
A slang term that was used to refer to the situation in Zimbabwe is mahwani, ‘one’ a remark meaning ‘it is difficult.’ In response to the hyper-inflationary environment in the country mahwani thousand ‘one thousand’ emerged. Perhaps the feeling was that mahwani would not adequately capture how difficult things were in the country. According to some of our participants mahwani thousand was a veiled mockery of the government for failing to deal with the problems afflicting the country particularly of hyperinflation.
Nokia 3310 Handshake 2018 glass beads and wire approx. 22 x 34 cm
Please Call Me (accidental cover) 2018 glass beads and wire approx. 22 x 34 cm
Send Money 2018 glass beads and wire approx. 22 x 34 cm