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Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Cara Snyman Edited by

SHOE SHOP Step, pace, stride, saunter, stalk, strut, tiptoe, walk. Sit down, sit at the roadside and see people passing by.

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In South Africa, public space is particularly inscribed – both socially and historically; free passage or ease of movement often seem naïve notions. Shoe Shop was borne of an interest in how various media project narratives of migration – that is the movement of people and ideas and goods. South Africans have many stories to tell when it comes to migration – different and similar stories to Malian, German, Kenyan women, children and men. Shoe Shop aims to create a thoughtful space to consider these movements, the notions of public space and migration on the African continent and how these experiences find their way into performance art, film, photography and literature.

ISBN 978-1-920196-43-1 www.jacana.co.za

Shoe Shop celebrates movement. The book explores individual narratives and personal stories that reflect upon the complexities of a roving life – at times touching on migratory movements, and negotiating spaces, but also the joy in discovering new places and the simple act of placing one foot in front of another and finding ground.

Cara Snyman was born in 1981 in Pretoria. After completing her fine art studies, she worked as a journalist and art director for various publications and independent projects, notably as the regional editor of online publication Artthrob. Since 2008, she has been working in the programme department of Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, managing visual arts projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Max Annas | Jodi Bieber | Annett Busch | Emmanuel Bakary Daou | Fatoumata Diabaté | Sokona Diabaté | Halima Diop | Ismail Farouk | Marie-Hélène Gutberlet | Sissy Helff | Doung Anwar Jahangeer | Mamadi Koité | Moussa Konaté | Bärbel Küster | Jackie Lebo | Jyoti Mistry | WJT Mitchell | Joan Legalamitlwa & Serge Alain Nitegeka | Jessica Nitsche | Thenjiwe Nkosi & Musa Nxumalo | George Osodi | Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo | Andries Walter Oliphant | Gael Reagon | Jürgen Schadeberg | Christoph Singer | Cara Snyman | Amadou Sow | Thabiso Sekgala | Penny Siopis | Kemang Wa Lehulere | Guy Woueté

Marie-Hélène Gutberlet grew up in Germany, Benin and Switzerland. She graduated in history of art, philosophy and film studies at the Frankfurt University. In 2004, she published her dissertation, Auf Reisen, Afrikanisches Kino (African Cinema on the Road), which focuses on intercultural aspects of perception in African cinemas. She has largely published on, organised conferences about and programmed African and black cinema, experimental and documentary film. After many years in academia, she is now working as freelance writer and curator (Bamako, 2011 and Johannesburg, 2012). http://www. migrationandmedia.com/index.htm


First published by Fanele – an imprint of Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd – in 2012 10 Orange Street Sunnyside Auckland Park 2092 South Africa +2711 628 3200 www.jacana.co.za © 2012 text by various individual contributors © 2012 works by various individual artists © 2012 photographs by various individual artists

All rights reserved. Print ISBN 978-1-920196-43-1 d-PDF ISBN 978-1-920196-54-7 Cover and interior design by Geraldine Hendler / squareart Cover photograph by Emmanuel Bakary Daou, Pieds rouges, 2010 Set in Zurich BT Light 9/11.5 Job no. 001738 See a complete list of Jacana titles at www.jacana.co.za

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SHOE SHOP

Edited by

Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Cara Snyman

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Contents

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Foreword Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Cara Snyman

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Walking movements ...just passing through... Doung Anwar Jahangeer

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On Walking Marie-Hélène Gutberlet

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Running Jackie Lebo

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The open field Some notes on the figure of walking in African film Annett Busch

45

The hooks of history Three films Penny Siopis

59

Greetings Mr Prez Gael Reagon

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Lines of Wind & Next Week Guy Wouete

73

Images of and in migrating practices

75

Pictures from here for the people over yonder Photography in migratory circuits Moussa Konaté

87

Going home Illegality and repatriation South Africa – Mozambique Jodi Bieber

108

Traces of African migratory identities in the photographic space Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo

117

Black Streets (EKI) The quest for greener pasture George Osodi

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125

Migrating images Totemism, fetishism, idolatry WJT Mitchell

137

Arriving home and moving on The photographs of Lisl Ponger in Bamako Jessica Nitsche

147

To France or wherever The Blue Notes and exile in Europe Max Annas

157

Family portrait Sokona Diabaté

159

Dialogues, struggles with ambivalences, family and history

160

Conversations Fragments of an oral history of Malian photography Bärbel Küster

In conversation with Fatoumata Diabaté In conversation with Amadou Sow In conversation with Emmanuel Bakary Daou In conversation with Mamadi Koité In conversation with Halima Diop

179

Presence and absence in Sokona Diabaté’s Portrait de famille Christoph Singer

189

Ambiguous gestures, ambivalent images Migratory aesthetics and contemporary photography Sissy Helff

201

Where is home? Thabiso Sekgala

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Odd futures Thenjiwe Nkosi in conversation with Musa Nxumalo

214

We won’t move Jürgen Schadeberg

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217 219

Space for indeterminacy, coexistence, mixing, in-betweenness Thirty Minutes of Amnesia Kemang Wa Lehulere

227

Applied pressure Serge Alain Nitegeka in conversation with Joan Legalamitlwa

235

A Walk in the Night

Breaking the lines of force in postcolonial African narratives Andries Walter Oliphant

247

Waiting Daily rhythm in a time of loitering bylaw enforcement Ismail Farouk

257

Bridging movement binaries through time A description of a work in progress Jyoti Mistry

263

Bibliography on walking and related subjects

268

Contributors

273

Acknowledgements

274

Index

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Walking movements

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…just passing through… Doung Anwar Jahangeer I do not believe in the restriction of categorisation. As a Mauritian-born, Creole, Muslim-raised male of Indian descent living in South Africa I experience the weight of over-determination. Yet I am neither ‘the one’ nor ‘the other’. Thus my passion for ‘in-betweenness’ is both personal and political. I shall begin my discussion of the concept of ‘in-betweenness’ through engagement with the personal. I spent my first nine years in South Africa in increasing frustration. I arrived in 1992 after apartheid had just fallen, yet I found not so much a ‘rainbow nation’, but a space that was and is crippled by a very lucrative fear industry. In 2001, I decided to lose myself on foot in the city (Durban). Armed with a camera, while drifting, I started writing a photographic essay. As an architect, my passion and obsession lies in the magic of space – not only its presence, but especially its perceived ‘absence’: Each ‘form’ giving the other its raison d’être. However, because of the conditioning nature of a society fixed in its frightened forms – to paraphrase Lebbeus Woods (1993:91) – we quickly at a very young age learn to only recognise and value the seen, tangible and factual ‘reality’ of life and death. ‘Spaces of in-between’ (Tschumi, 1996) became the essence of the photographic essay and, consequently, my frequent straying into the city led to the birth of the CityWalk initiative. The CityWalk is perhaps best described as an investigative journey, an exuberant exploration as well as a humbling and cautionary tale, an allegory on the infinite complexities of spaces and timings in the city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is experimental, oral, visual and informal in nature. Like Edward Soja’s ‘Thirdspace’ (1996), everything comes together here: subjectivity and objectivity, the abstract and the concrete, the real and the imagined, the knowable and the imaginable, the repetitive and the differential, structure and agency, mind and body, consciousness and unconsciousness, the disciplined and the transdisciplinary, everyday life and unending history. Sadly, despite this, ‘sophisticated’ humankind largely considers itself distinct from nature. This attitude sets up a discourse of difference between nature and us. Since our species is historically fixated on acquiring power, we have mastered the art of controlling nature for our selfish consumerist benefit. It seems apparent that this detachment is playing a considerable role in leading us to the destruction of ourselves in this environment today. We have learnt to

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value the ‘rational’ over the irrational, order over chaos, disregarding the fact that there may well be a very high level of order in this chaos that we fear so blindly. We cannot rule out the possibility that entropy might just be the magic ingredient when thinking about 21st-century urban – and hence personal – development both in the African continent and in the South. Instead, our inability to open up to alternative truths has led us to develop highly controlled and organised (urban) spaces. From roads to pavements to boundary walls to electric fences to gated communities to armed responsive dwellings, these highly regimented spaces have made many people fearful of anything different. Middle-class urban dwellers prefer to hide behind a veneer of cultivation, fear and pride in having become ‘civilised’. Yet despite this overpowering and pervasive need to control, there is a force at work in the overlooked, and therefore often invisible, spaces of in-between. Walking from the informal settlement of uMkhumbane (situated on the urban periphery), via suburbia, along the national highway through the heart of the city, ending at the harbour, I became intrigued by the growth of plants at the meeting points (spaces of in-between) of those dividing elements. In the gap where the boundary wall meets the pavement, where the pavement meets the street, in-between the paving brick and even in the crack of the asphalt of the road – these are the interstitial spaces where human control fails. As a result, this is where life/creativity/nature prevails. Here, I make a deliberate allegorical connection with nature and a metaphor drawn from plant life to accentuate the relevance of gaps where time in our disciplined spatial composition is suspended. I was equally astonished to notice that, like plants growing in the fissure of the city’s infrastructures, an unrecognised community of walkers has been travelling along the highway on its way to the city and back to the township every day. This highway, besides being a means for vehicular movement, also served as a segregating device during the construction of the apartheid regime. It is a big gap trenched out forming a no-man’s land between two suburbs. It is a state of in-between, often looked at, but seldom seen where these walkers appropriate this forgotten space for the practice of their freedom. The walker is able to plant and reap experiences from an activity, which has become increasingly unnatural to many

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dwellers (mainly the rich), addicted as they are to the intoxication of motor travel. In his book on the practice of everyday life (1984), De Certeau became an advocate of the stories told by pedestrians in the city – those spatial narratives not verbalised or written in text, but told as people traverse the city in an uncontrolled, irregular fashion. This, he argues, provides a counter-foil to the panopticon: ‘the disciplined, rational use of space defined by planners, architects, engineers and owners of capital’ (Foucault, 1983:165). However the burdened reality of a post-apartheid South Africa presents a different scenario to De Certeau’s Eurocentric understanding of traversing space in an uncontrolled fashion. Nevertheless, despite his romantic notions, I certainly do agree with the fact that a public space should be an area or place that is open and accessible to all citizens, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic level. Yet, in spite of 17 years of democracy, the legacy of an oppressed space still looms. The ‘non-white’1 citizens use public space merely as a means to an end. For these masses, a public space was one where they were not allowed to be free. As a result, urbanisation became an unprecedented phenomenon in the South African cities after the fall of the apartheid regime in the 1990s. The influx of poor people into urban settings should have brought in a spatial realisation – a shift in the psychology of South African space. Essentially speaking a Western space should have been challenged by this intuitive assimilation of the oppressor’s space into an African one. But the notion of the urban nature of the African city is difficult to grasp, especially because it still often refers to Western and colonial notions, and is dominated by Modern ideologies exemplified through urban design based on the Cartesian grid. These were manipulated to display authority, oppression and control as typified in the apartheid city and coinciding with Rem Koolhaas’s (2000) concept of a ‘generic city’. So, if the design of cities and hence public spaces in South Africa still adorns the failed urban design principles of The Modern Movement then art in public spaces, or public art, is as good and detached to the vernacular as the art which resides in its white cube. If the intention for artistic intervention is to do that, then so be it. Nonetheless, the issue of the role of art in public space in the third world2 is a contentious one. In 2006 as part of a project, Memories of Modernity, that

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involved a collaboration between South Africa and Sweden, I created a piece of public art entitled lost spaces. It was a sculptural piece made out of steel rods positioned in a disused freeway underpass – a ‘lost space’ (Trancik, 1986:3–4). The express purpose of the piece was to document its demise as it slowly became re-appropriated by steel recyclers until it disappeared entirely. The process took no more than a couple of weeks. In 2008, I was invited to do a permanent work in public space – this time outside the town hall. Attention was taken to use materials ‘impervious’ to vandalism and 40mm solid stainless-steel rods were used. The first rod was taken a month or so after it was installed. Two years later, much of it has disappeared. The city has not replaced the missing rods. This would seem to suggest that public art, in the context of the third world, needs to be reassessed in terms of what function it is actually serving. If it is the ‘upliftment’ of the city dwellers, then it cannot really exist in the form that public art traditionally has. When engaging in art in/for public spaces it is important to be consciously aware that people in space make place and that the city is an engine and laboratory of human relationships. It is in this ambit that, in 2009, my organisation, dala, in collaboration with the local contemporary gallery KZNSA, ran Intersections, a project which linked emerging artists from countries bordering South Africa – namely, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe – in a residency programme of three weeks in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The artists engaged public space through a series of interventions in the urbanscape. The artistic, performative actions heightened curiosity, which in turn activated new relationships and new combinations. That gave rise to unexpected (re)configurations of the socio-spatial system from a kind of logic that was positioned no longer solely in the figurative form but in the operative terms of activity, movement and/or exchange. In that constructive game of social territorialisation, de-territorialisation and re-territorialisation, we identified a paradoxical new condition of operative multi-belongings and ambivalences. The two case studies quoted above have provided an effective and qualitative detournment 3 of the practice of a ‘civilised’ art into the participatory public where art became as much a process of investigation as it is a final intervention.

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I believe that art, architecture and, indeed, all cultural expression besides its aesthetic superficiality can also function as a medium through which our society is able to articulate and conscientise its citizens around social issues, as well as build skill and self-development. I also believe that the natural phenomenon of the in-between will always provide a platform for resistance, survival and creativity – despite the desire to control and regulate. Perhaps the philosophical energy of interstitial spaces should be inspiration for finding public spaces. Then art in those spaces would know that its purpose is to facilitate the process of re-humanisation.

References De Certeau, M. (1984) ‘Walking in the City’ in: S. During (1993) (ed.) The Cultural Studies Reader, London: Routledge, 151-160. Foucault, M. (1983) ‘Space, Power and Knowledge’ in: S. During (1993) (ed.) The cultural studies reader, London: Routledge, 161–169. Koolhaas, R. (2000) ‘La ville générique’ in: Architecture d’aujourd’hui, 304:70–71. Mohanty, C. T. (1991) ‘Cartographies of Struggle: Third world women and the politics of feminism’ in: C. T. Mohanty, A. Russo & L. Torres (eds.) Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1–47. Soja, E. (1996) Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Realand-Imagined Places, Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Trancik, R. (1986) Finding Lost Space, Canada: John Wiley & Sons Inc. Tschumi, B. (1996) Architecture and Disjuctions: Collected Essays 1975–1990, London: MIT Press. Woods, L. (1993) ‘Freespace and the Tyranny of Types’ in: P. Noever (ed.) The End of Architecture: Documents and manifestos. Munich: Prestel-Verlag.

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1

‘Non-white‘ is an apartheid classification for those South Africans who are not white: black African, Indian and Coloured. Although descriptive it is racist since it positions ‘whiteness’ at the centre. White South Africans would never be called ‘non-black’ for example. It is still used uncritically today in South African discourse.

2

The term ‘third world’ has been increasingly appropriated by political activists and academics (see Mohanty, 1991) in an attempt to re-appropriate and transform its negative connotations. Alternatives such as ‘developing’ are equally problematic since they imply a western assumption of development.

3

‘Detournment’ is best equated to the postmodernist notion of appropriation.

All photographs courtesy of Doung Anwar Jahangeer, except for the first image on the third strip, which is by Peter McKenzie, and the first image on the fifth strip, which is by Val Adamson

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Images of and in migrating practices

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Going home Illegality and repatriation South Africa – Mozambique 1

1

This text was written by Jodi Bieber in 2001.

Jodi Bieber

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Since the first democratic elections in 1994, there has been a strong augmentation in immigration – people making their way across the border into South Africa. War, famine and

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poverty in Africa make South Africa an attractive option for a better life. The borders around South Africa are extensive and impossible to secure. Therefore the Department of

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Home Affairs with the aid of the South African Police Services deports approximately 180 000 immigrants a year. It costs the government R300 (US$35) to repatriate an immigrant from

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a neighbouring country without a valid residence permit. In 2001, there are 300 immigration officers in the country, a lack of police manpower and corruption within the process.

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Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Cara Snyman Edited by

SHOE SHOP Step, pace, stride, saunter, stalk, strut, tiptoe, walk. Sit down, sit at the roadside and see people passing by.

9 781920 196431

2012/04/03 3:53 PM Shoe Shop Cover-AW.indd 2

In South Africa, public space is particularly inscribed – both socially and historically; free passage or ease of movement often seem naïve notions. Shoe Shop was borne of an interest in how various media project narratives of migration – that is the movement of people and ideas and goods. South Africans have many stories to tell when it comes to migration – different and similar stories to Malian, German, Kenyan women, children and men. Shoe Shop aims to create a thoughtful space to consider these movements, the notions of public space and migration on the African continent and how these experiences find their way into performance art, film, photography and literature.

ISBN 978-1-920196-43-1 www.jacana.co.za

Shoe Shop celebrates movement. The book explores individual narratives and personal stories that reflect upon the complexities of a roving life – at times touching on migratory movements, and negotiating spaces, but also the joy in discovering new places and the simple act of placing one foot in front of another and finding ground.

Cara Snyman was born in 1981 in Pretoria. After completing her fine art studies, she worked as a journalist and art director for various publications and independent projects, notably as the regional editor of online publication Artthrob. Since 2008, she has been working in the programme department of Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, managing visual arts projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Max Annas | Jodi Bieber | Annett Busch | Emmanuel Bakary Daou | Fatoumata Diabaté | Sokona Diabaté | Halima Diop | Ismail Farouk | Marie-Hélène Gutberlet | Sissy Helff | Doung Anwar Jahangeer | Mamadi Koité | Moussa Konaté | Bärbel Küster | Jackie Lebo | Jyoti Mistry | WJT Mitchell | Joan Legalamitlwa & Serge Alain Nitegeka | Jessica Nitsche | Thenjiwe Nkosi & Musa Nxumalo | George Osodi | Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo | Andries Walter Oliphant | Gael Reagon | Jürgen Schadeberg | Christoph Singer | Cara Snyman | Amadou Sow | Thabiso Sekgala | Penny Siopis | Kemang Wa Lehulere | Guy Woueté

Marie-Hélène Gutberlet grew up in Germany, Benin and Switzerland. She graduated in history of art, philosophy and film studies at the Frankfurt University. In 2004, she published her dissertation, Auf Reisen, Afrikanisches Kino (African Cinema on the Road), which focuses on intercultural aspects of perception in African cinemas. She has largely published on, organised conferences about and programmed African and black cinema, experimental and documentary film. After many years in academia, she is now working as freelance writer and curator (Bamako, 2011 and Johannesburg, 2012). http://www. migrationandmedia.com/index.htm


Shoe Shop