Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Look, He Is Drinking A Cider !

Look, He is Drinking A Cider Or No Room For Arrogance 

Whenever I come to a point, that I feel or realize, I have looked down on someone in a condescending, judging and pitiful way, who is in an unfortunate position at this time in his life, I give something to someone later. This helps to redeem myself, because these moments are hard to control for most people.

The laws of the universe are true. And you are probably the cause of everything, that ever happens in your life. But the laws of the universe are very hard to learn and in more than one case it will take you longer than this life, that you have at your disposition now to learn those laws. No matter how often you have read the Secret and other books. No Matter, 
To think, that some things can never happen to you, that they will only happen to others is sheer madness.

In fact you can make everything happen to you at any given moment in time. Not the universe but you. And often not knowing that you do.
It so happened, that I overheard a comment one lady made to another lady walking down the street, when they caught sight of a homeless man.

" Look he is drinking a cider", said the one.....

If you got nothing or not much does it mean you can not drink a cider if you get one?
The other question, that arises is, where would you drink your cider if you had just got it and it would  probably be taken away from you by somebody else who wants a cider too.
Would you not drink it on the street if there was no such a thing as a living room ?
I guess I would.   
The one thing there is no room for in life is arrogance.

Today Is A Good Hair Day

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some Things Remain Unchanged

These images were taken in the early 1970's, when Namibia was still called South West Africa. The Herero women in the photos are on their way to celebrate Herero Day in Okahandja wearing their distinct traditional dress.
The Herero came under the influence of German missionaries during the 19th century who took exception to what they considered to be the immodesty of the traditional Herero dress, or lack of dress. At the time the Victorian Dress was still considered to be appropriate for a woman and the missionaries wifes dressed the women of the Herero accordingly by sewing long dresses for them that covered the arms and the neck. The first dresses were sewn of a material called Blueprint, imported from Germnay.
But I must say I love African creativeness.  Just look at the girl in the back with the leather boots and the red mini skirt. No matter under what and whose influence Africans came over the years, there will always be uniqueness and freedom of interpretation in what they do.

Herero Women On A Farm

After a while the Herero women adopted the style of dress for which they are so famous today. The dress itself falls to the ankles and has long sleeves and a bodice that buttons up close to the neck. Over this, many women also wear a shawl. 
Under the dress the women wear seven petticoats to add fullness to the skirts. The uniquely shaped headpiece is said to resemble and pay homage to the horns of their cattle. Although  Namibia is a modern African country today, Herero women are still seen proudly wearing this elaborate costume in rural parts of the country as well as in the capital Windhoek capital. 

And by the way the cream colored handbag is the bomb and some vintage loving ladies would go crazy about it.  

Another Classy Old Lady

One of the many classy old ladies in Southernwood

A Family Of Four

Which location you consider to be safe and convenient to set up home and raise your children depends entirely on the perception of the parents.

This shelf in front of my workshop was choosen as the ideal nesting place by a young Cape Robin couple. They made their home in between the retro lampshade, the wooden jaguar scluptures, the glass jar with paintbrushes and an oil painting.
And no, I can not explain  to you why these things are there and no, they are not in a specific order. I just noticed the complexity of the scenario myself when I took the pictures. But this is what happens in an artists life. If  I use them ? I will. Soon. Now that I have seen them again.

Food is close by

Very close
and in abundance

The inside of the nest has been upholstered with feathers that my chicken have lost. It looks a bit messy like any young couple's home but it could not be more comfortable.

And no doubt life has changed forever. Especially for him. Having children is not a bit as you imagined it. Rather hard work with two mouths to feed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Do You Do For A Living ?

Or What Do You Have To Do To Live ?

There are millions of people in South Africa. women and men, who have made it their living to dig through other people's trash and waste that is deposited in black bags outside on the street for collection. 

It is the same scenario on each and every day in South Africa. In every city and in each suburb, affluent or poor, depending on the week day when the trash is collected.

As early as five or six o'clock in the morning, before the trucks come, people start searching the trash for plastic bottles and material that can be recycled and for things that can be kept for private use. The list of things that can be re-used for private comsumption is long ranging from old garden chairs, left over food and half smoked cigarettes to card board boxes. Nothing is excluded.

South Africa is just beginning to make a small step into the direction of an " organized waste separation and waste managemnt system ". Private Recycling companies buy the empty bottles and plastic trash that are collected by the people who search the waste. 

The money derived from this activity is often their only income.

The gap in South-Africa between the rich and the poor has become deeper during the last decade.

And this is a way not to steel or starve.

What many South Africans have to do to live.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Number Seventeen

I can still feel your elegance

I can almost see the beauty of your youth

I can sense your old school class

Number 17 you are beautiful !

I would never lie
I stood  20 minutes right in front of you.

And I had the strange feeling that it was hard to say Good Bye

I was asked by a friend the other day: Why are you so mad about the old houses in this town?
The old colonial house are of an incredible architectural elegance. I am not limited to the colonial architecture in my preferences.There are many styles that I like especially the architecture of modern mid century. But the houses in the older suburbs of East London radiate a class that is hard to imitate even if they are in a condition of total decay and degradation. Like old human beings you can still see they aura clearly. 

At The Reef

At Nahoon Reef this morning

A Slight Breeze

A slight breeze from south - south/west was blowing

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Slippery When Wet

Christmas Time is the great holiday season in South Africa for everybody. It's summer in Mzansi and many businesses close their doors around the 15th of December or even earlier for a month of long anticipated  holdiays. 
That is the time when a majority of South Africans travel to the coast to enjoy the sea, the beach and the sun as well as many outdoor activities. But instead of summer, winter reigns in the Southern Hemisphere with temperatures of 12 degrees in the morning.
If someone still believed that global warming is only a threat to come and that we still have a lot of time to deal with it, spending the last few weeks with us in South Africa might convince him of the opposite and make it very clear that we are already dealing with the impact of climate change.

For him to steer alone a wheeled cart, fully loaded with sugar, weighing more than a 200 kg, down a steep drive way, flooded by rain and slippery as the mossy rocks on the beach, is more than an artistic endeavour. And still the rain is pouring. 
But God blessed Africa. One thing the African People hardly loose is their sense of humor.

Dance With Your Brother When The Sun Goes Down

Once upon a time, my younger brother Chris and me in Holland at the beach

Practising the " pas de deux " while the sun went down and bathed the sky in a mother of pearl shade.
In ballet, a pas de deux (in French steps of two) is a duet in which ballet dancers perform the dance together. It usually consists of an entree, adagio, two variations - one for each dancer - and a coda. We did them all.
Ever since and wherever we are, and if we are together, we dance when the sun goes down our own pas de deux.

He is a special bru..
From then to today, he invented himself over and over again
and took everything a step further.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am A Man From Senegal

Reflections about a global world by a man from Senegal who came to Mzansi (South) to move forward

I am a very tall man from the Senegal.
The Senegal got it's name from the river Senegal.

Most of the men are tall in Senegal and the women are real beautiful. It's a country of Western Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. We, the Wolof, I am Wolof, and other West African poeples settled at the coast. Do you know we have a mighty history? The interiors formed part of the three great African medieval empires Mali, Ghana and Songhai. 
Then in the 15th century coastal trading posts were established by the Portuguese and the Dutch. 
The French joined them in the 17th century. And in 1895 we became a French Colony. 
The French were too strong, We all became French colonies. All the countries became French colonies.
All Senegalese children learn this at school. We were part of what they called French West Africa. It took 65 years for us to become an independant African state in 1960. 
But in fact it took many centuries.

I moved down South to make a living because there are more riches here. My city is Dakar and we are more than 12.000.000 who live there. Europe and America say the African make too many children.
On Sundays I sell things at the market. Everyting I sell comes from China and it is cheap. The Chinese seem to me as strong now as the French were then.
One day China will own Africa.

I can overlook the sea from where I work. It reminds me all the time of the coast in Senegal. But there it's warm. West African brothers are not welcome here anymore. The South Africans are not bad but they are getting poor now as well like the rest of Africa.

As a man from Senegal this complicates your life.
I hear people talking all the time about a global world. I think the problem starts when people are selling goods in other countries, are trading and doing commerce. It creates fear in the local people. Because if you are successful they always think you stole from them. Although that is not true. Because you are not doing the same thing as they are.

Sometimes I feel just like a shadow.
Will Africa move forward with a global world ?

But I still have not earned what I wanted to earn.
So it's no good going home now. May be another five years

So in this country I am the guy from Senegal

Between 2000 and March 2008 at least 67 people died in what was identified as xenophobic attacks on foreigners, mostly African foreigners. Foreigners like Kenyians, Somalians, Zimbabwens who are mainly involved in trade and commerce activities were accused of taking the business away from the locals. In May 2008 a series of riots left 62 people dead. The attacks were apparently motivated by xenophobia.
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