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How I found my earring.

How I found my earring.

 

When we got burgled in South Africa, they took everything my grandmother had left me. Whatever scrap gold value they got for it, is just an insult to the meaning it had to me.

 

I was lucky to have one memory remain with me: The little pearl earring I was wearing.

A piece of jewellery my grandma wore and I wear now out of respect for her. Because to me she is a hero, having survived the second world war.

 

But a couple of weeks ago, I lost this tiny stud earring. I noticed it right away, because I always subconsciously feel for it. So I knew it must’ve happened at home.

 

The next day I was crawling around on the floors, looking for it. I wanted to at least make sure we don’t vacuum it up or sweep it away.

 

I suspected that I had lost it playing with our dogs. Lola has a thing of nibbling your ear.

Or maybe I had dislodged it when I pulled my cycling shoulder bag off.

Perhaps it fell in my scarf and I shook it out somewhere.

 

While my search for it gradually stopped, the image of the earring remained glued to my eyes, and 3 weeks later, I found it!

 

In our garden, out of all places. Our backyard is scattered with sand, dust, pebbles, dog toys, weeds, and it currently serves as a storage facility for building material as there’s still construction work going on inside.

 

I was cleaning up one of the holes our puppy Gigi had dug in order to fill it up with sand.

 

As I lifted the green garden net, the earring fell forward together with bits of sticks, pine cones and sea shells, the stuff our dogs play with.

 

I can’t believe I found it!

 

Of course the little Nupsi that holds it in place at the back is missing, which means I can’t wear it.

 

Maybe better, so I can’t lose it again. But where to put it for safekeeping?

 

Isn’t wearing it the best way to remember my Omi.

 

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Step 1: Insert rat into flowerpot

Rattie Harley fits so snug into the flowerpot.

Rattie Harley fits so snug into the flowerpot.

 

Step 2: Adjust flowerpot to rat’s liking

 

Step 3: Let rat settle

 

Voila! Rat has grown a little – maybe 😉

Rattie Harley looks so cute! Ready to be showered in kisses!

Rattie Harley looks so cute! Ready to be showered in kisses!

 

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The Making of a Criminal: Part 2 was performed at the Artscape as part of the See Me: I Am Human Indaba.

The Making of a Criminal: Part 2 was performed at the Artscape as part of the See Me: I Am Human Indaba.

 

While the radio was talking about the Jazz Masters Tribute at the Artscape Theatre Centre, just around the corner at the Arena a very different kind of event took place.

 

The real deal

But that was not apparent to me at first, because I was late: I had booked the ticket over 3 months ago and the time had changed. This meant I entered the performance with very little context: My knowledge about it had fainted to ‘something to do with prisoners’, and because I had missed the introduction, that was all I was left with.

So I just opened up all my senses to make sense of what was unfolding on stage.

Two things sprung out at me after only a short while:
–  The performance was highly emotionally charged.
–  The acting was somewhat unprofessional but in a very human way.

It dawned on me that this might be the real deal: That these were real offenders, sharing their own personal story through a platform provided to them as part of their rehabilitation: the theatre.

And indeed: During interval lovely Janine next to me explained these were all real prisoners currently in jail and pointed out the guards on duty, who I had not seen in the darkness and now noticed were many.

Watching the next performance I realised that the provided context made little difference: I was just as much taken on a rollercoaster of emotions from laughing and crying, to cheering and applauding profound truths.

The audience was moved and responsive, from secretly wiping tears away to snapping fingers in agreement.

The message was clearly stated in the last poem: Nothing That is Human is Alien.

And that is really what we learned that night: A glimpse into the human side of offenders, past stereotypes and prejudices. Raw and real. Touching to the core.

These are real people who deserve real chances.

 

How can we help?

This was the question circling our minds, as this had been the last performance of this year’s group and it meant for everyone: ‘back to normal’, but what is ‘normal’ in these circumstances.

A discussion opened up in the theatre and continued in even more depth in the women’s bathroom resulting in these suggestions:

–  Don’t judge.
–  Share the message.
–  Provide space for theatre and rehearsal.
–  Support outreach programmes for offenders.
–  Bring more outreach programmes to prisons.

 

Driving home they announced on the radio that after the interval they’d get back to the Jazz Masters concert at the Artscape. I had just left and already this was how everything went back to ‘normal’ for me.

But of course there is more we can do:

 

Get involved

For another amazing example on how acting helps rehabilitate offenders listen to this podcast about the Prison Performing Arts initiative.

This just shows that theatre works as a crime prevention intervention. And why not? Why do we pay actors millions of bucks for faking it when we could use a fraction of the money to upskill people who can tell the real story?

So support future productions of The Making of a Criminal:

Follow the Help I Am Free cultural outreach project: https://www.facebook.com/HelpIAmFree.

Like the NGO Nicro (the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Offenders): https://www.facebook.com/NICROSouthAfrica.

Donate to their crowdfunding campaign: http://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/the-making-of-a-criminal-part-2.

 

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Painting the Ranzani Design Salt & Pepper Grinders is very meditative work. The focus lies on getting the colour contrasts neat.

A calm and collected environment is established by bringing order and discipline to the paint job.

Unless you’ve got pet rats! Their curiosity knows no boundaries.

Even the paint – non-toxic of course – gets examined with some funny results:

Blue rattie paw prints everywhere! 😮

 

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Interesting piece of art. But what does it mean? Is there an explanation somewhere?

 

I don’t see any museum labels. Wait! There on the floor, is that it?

 

What does it say? I can’t read it. It’s such a small print. And on the floor! You have to kneel down to read it.

 

It says: “DISCLAIMER – Tickets are valid for 7 days from the chosen date. This ticket is not refundable.”

 

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'Rooms of the Ballenesque' by Roger Ballen at Zeitz MOCAA.

‘Rooms of the Ballenesque’ by Roger Ballen at Zeitz MOCAA.

 

Mommy, why did somebody draw on the doors?

 

Because it’s art. But only here at the Zeitz MOCAA, not at home!

 

 

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Nicholas Hlobo's 'Iimpundulu Zonke Ziyandilandela' ('All the Lightning Birds Are After Me') in the Atrium of the Zeitz MOCCA.

Nicholas Hlobo’s ‘Iimpundulu Zonke Ziyandilandela’ (‘All the Lightning Birds Are After Me’) in the Atrium of the Zeitz MOCCA.

 

Cape Town for free: At the Grand Public Opening of Zeitz MOCAA entry was free for the long heritage weekend.
If you hadn’t snatched up complimentary tickets online you could still get them at the museum on the day.

Queuing wasn’t bad: It went quick and was well managed. We spent the time waiting productively by browsing through the brochure about the Grand Opening Weekend.
While I had difficulties reading out aloud some of the extravagant wording it gave a good overview and interpretation of the gallery exhibitions.

The museum alone is worth a visit: The atrium shows the architectural craftsmanship that turned an industrial building into an art piece itself:
The silos are carved out half way in at various heights, revealing the skeleton of the construction, forming an organic bulb, with honeycomb sockets for elevators and staircase.

Down the spiral:

 

Turning silo into art:

Turning the silo into art at Zeitz MOCAA

A post shared by TrulyJuly (@creativecommunications) on

 

Walking through the different sections of MOCAA reminds of the Tate Modern, where you are taken from experience to experience.

But in the end what we are looking at is art, which is subject to subjectivity – you might like it or not.

From comparing MOCAA with a colonialist cathedral dazzling the illiterate with trophies to temporarily mistaking a lost ticket for an art piece’s most important museum label,
from parents’ speechlessness to children feeling at home amongst the art,
from ushers’ personal account to the curator’s contextual explanation as he mingled informally with the visitors:

The contemporary art is stimulating, triggering a reaction which turns into interaction and conversation.
The space is open and intimate enough to allow for spontaneous comment and individual reflection; it’s a bit like you can feel the art.

Or well, at least smell it!

 

Go see for yourself, free every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm for African citizens.

 

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