Polonial Enterprise 2021 Photo by Garth Meyer
Ink-jet print on Hahnemühle 100 x 71,3 cm
This image shows me holding an Enterprise brand polony that has been partly unwrapped and has the words HUT TAX cut into the meat, which is the same colour as my skin.
South Africans and Zimbabweans refer to bologna exclusively as polony, although polony is typically made using highly processed meat. These processed meat products are typically an artificially bright pink colour, and are foods for low-income people due to their low cost.
In both Zimbabwe and South Africa early European settlers imposed a Hut Tax onto the indigenous population. This levy on every hut forced the local inhabitants to work for the settlers as part of the newly formed economy providing them with a workforce. In the colony of Mashonaland, now part of Zimbabwe the hut tax was 10 shillings per hut. This led to a rebellion among the Shona people that became known as the ‘First Chimurenga’.