The air we breathe, these metal release Co2 for miners underground, Marikana

Thabiso Sekgala
The air we breathe, these metal release Co2 for miners underground, Marikana, 2012
Dibond mounted inkjet print on archival fibre paper
Image: 70 x 70 cm

‘Second Transition’ is the series of images photographed in the areas around the mining town of Rustenburg. Rustenburg lies in the North West province of South Africa, one of the biggest platinum producing areas in the world. The region has been in a state of transition for the last 100 years. The transitions started in the year 1890 when the chief of the Tswana tribe of BaMagopa, bought back their land, about 40 kilometers away from Rustenburg, from the white settlers. ‘Second Transition’ is a term that refers to the new phase of negotiations after the Apartheid era. In the wake of the efforts to settle the inequality of Apartheid, the ANC has described this new initiative to negotiate the continued economic inequalities in South Africa as the Second Transition. Many black people in South Africa believe that the first transition in 1994 was a betrayal because more people than ever still live in poor conditions like they did during apartheid. The photographs in the series act as a symbol of or a witness to the economic imbalance, which exists in contemporary South Africa, where people increasingly inhabit contrasting economic realities. People live in poor conditions right next to the multibillion platinum-mining plants. With these photographs Sekgala attempt to make the link with history of the people of BaMagopa tribe and the Marikana massacre that took place in 2012 were 34 Miners lost their life after being shot by the police during the protest. The events of Marikana mirror the Sharpville massacre of the 1960s. These photographs constitute evidence that history always repeats itself.

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