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44 GREEN BLANKETS HIT DURBAN

by Anonymous / 17.08.2015

The less value you attach to something the easier it is to dispose of, like life. The more you have of something the less you need it, like labour. That’s been a type of money-making mantra for as long as mining conglomerates have been making more from minerals than they have from miners. When miners want to give themselves more worth in the machinery of the extractive industry they come up against the combined power of corporate-capital and the politics that drives it. State power is wielded on behalf of the powerful, because their demands have more value while attached to an industry we are all dependent on.

The electricity boxes that structure our city are aesthetically maintained, painted and kept pretty, perfect public spaces that prove where our societal value truly lies. Celebrity culture is an ever increasing cancer that ensures that sex sells on street corners. Pasted posters offer penis enlargements and cheap abortions, promising that at the bottom rungs dreams and reality share the same space. Both are only a fuck away.

PENIS ENLARGEMENT

Power is a commodity, owned by a few and sold to the rest at a price that is both as high and as low as the lives that get chewed up in its production. That’s why three years after the Marikana massacre that resulted in 44 state sanctioned deaths (sanctioned in the way that justice delayed is justice denied) the same company who’s lack of crisis management capacity and political collusion caused this slaughter is still a King maker in the game. It’s 2015 and Lonmin Platinum is about to lay-off 6 000 workers. That’s double the amount that were gathered at the now infamous koppie on the 16th of August 2012. The mining sector is in crisis. Not because the families and widows of those murdered men are having to take the government to court for compensation. That’s not a crisis, that’s just life. The crisis is because of profits, the making of less, the opposite of the mantra.

And we have all been made complicit, because we have stopped caring, because South Africans are stumbling punch-drunk from one political scandal and disgrace to the next. We are comfortable as consumers until we are asked to become consumers of conscience and consciousness, and then we become too uncomfortable. We throw away the paper. It’s cheap, there’ll be another one tomorrow. We throw away the news. It’s cheap, there’ll be more tomorrow.

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The now iconic ‘man in the green blanket’ was called Mambush by his friends. Mgceneni Noki has come to symbolize the lives of those South African citizens who are fighting for more worth, to be valued above commodities and consumption. For those who say that we cannot afford to meet their demands, have we really tried? What is our relationship to power? What do we value most? Penis enlargements and pop culture, freshly painted power boxes that keep the picture pretty, a city where putting up a piece of art honouring the dead is viewed as a subversive act, but advertising cheap abortions is just business as usual. These 44 green blankets are not simply about remembering the past, they are also about re-imagining the future…

*Join the cause here: Marikana Support Campaign.

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*Images © Mahala

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