Filmed on a GoPro Hero2 with no extraneous sounds added in editing.
Street Melodies Eternal was exhibited at Fotofestiwal, Lodz, 2017.
In Cape Town, the legacy of apartheid and the “dop system” still permeate heavily through generations of people of colour. The common perception is that it is an individual’s fault if he or she is homeless and observers are quick to judge and slow to consider the broader context of a complex and cluttered society. But whose fault is centuries of strategic oppression by one power structure after another?
Most of my interactions with the homeless were with war veterans (who’d served in Vietnam era all the way to Iraq). They suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and turn to self-medication with illegal drugs or prescription drugs. Drug use, Christian eschatology enforcing the ongoing idea of the “Rapture”, heavy police presence and reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded-security state induce paranoia in victims. Talk of the end of the world is common, as is fear of authorities or the “all-seeing eye”. It seemed to me that there were more mentally ill ramblers here than the 24-hour binge drinkers typical amongst the homeless in Cape Town. These “loonies” are not catered for once they are back home and have lost their lives as they knew it after fighting for their countrymen and women in a foreign land.