Geek Mythology

December 28, 2008

Planet of slums

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 2:37 pm

In this book the author writes about how there are millions of people who live on fringes of major cities around the world and are exploited by entrepreneurs as cheap labour. These temporary workers are usually desperatley poor peasants. Most of these cities are in the global south, and some of these areas can better be described as ”garbage slums” where unwanted waste and unwanted immigrants end up together. The sanitation conditions are often appaling . These areas have a populance whose life expectancy is amongst the lowest in the world.

In South Africa during the apartheid era almost one million people of color where uprooted from urban environments to give the land over to the white population. The same was true in communist china where the priveledged urban proletariat was priveledged over rural peasants. In the slum areas the state usually does next to nothing. It does not provide water, schools, sanitation, roads or hospitals. Residents sometimes buy water from private dealers and rely on vigilante security forces instead of the police.

In Nigeria, the government promised to use the soaring oil revenues to rehouse the countries urban poor. But in fact less than a fifth of those houses where constructed and the money went to others than the poor. In one of Lagos greatest slums, called Ajegunle, 1.5 million people live on not much more than 8 square kilometers of swampy land.and the spen on an average 3 hours a day commuting to work.

Public and state assisted housing in the global south has primarily benifited the urban elites and middle classes. Powerfull local intrerests such as politicians, big developers, and military juntas usually take advantage of peripheral land sales to the poor migrants. Usually the postcolonial elites have ”inherited and greedily reproduced the physical footprints of segregated colonial cities”…” the indigenous elites(have after independence) took over european posts and all the benefits attached”. In this way ”the colonial template provided a basis for the almost total segregation of state officials and African professionals from their poorer compatriots”.

Many high profile events like the olympics or beauty pagents have been used as an excuse to relocate slum inhabitants. They are the ”dirt” that the governments dont want visitors to see. Relocating individuals from urban slum areas has also been a way for governments to get rid of slum-based resistance to their rule. So the city centers are restructured to allow ”more effective control and policing”. An example of this type of relocation occured in Lagos in Nigeria, when a vast corridor was cleared through a densley populated slum area to create an expressway so that officials could easier get back and forth to work.

In contrast to the growing slums another type of settlement has started to arise. This is the explosive rise of exclusive closed suburbs on the peripheries of third world cities. These are also reffered to as ”gated communities”. These suburbs are often styled after southern Californian neighbourhoods like Beverly Hills or Orange County. These semi detached homes allow the affluent to live faux Californian lifestyles while their maids sleep in ”chicken coop like sheds on the rooftops”.

Much of the land that the slums are built on is unsafe. They are often located near garbage dumps which means that a high concentration of ”toxic industrial activities” contaminate the ground and the water. The sewage often becomes mixed up with the water causing digestive tract diseases. The air is also often polluted. The air in the city of Mumbai in India for example is so polluted that breathing it for a day is considered to be the equivalent of smoking two and a half packs of cigarettes. Sewage is also a major problems since there is often a major or total lack of toilets. This means that people relieve themselves on the streets or into bags which they throw onto rooftops. This is also a big problem for women in India for example. Since having to go to the bathroom in public means exposing ones private parts. This is impossible in a society where its important that women uphold strict standars of modesty. The poorer women usually dont go to the bathroom at all during the daylight hours but instead wait till it gets dark to relieve themselves. Often the public toilets like the water, becomes privatized, reaping huge profits for the owners of the contracts.

Child labour is something that the slum areas produce. It is ”usually the weakest and smallest shoulders that have to bear the heaviest burdens”. Most of the children in the global south who live in slums dont go to school and almost half of those kids between 10 and 14 are working. Some work 20 hour days in the carpet, garment or restaurant businesses. They often indure work related wounds, like young girls in India whose eyesight is damaged from ”endless hours of embroidering in poor lighting” or other small children whom ”are made to crouch on their toes, from dawn to dusk every day, severly stunting heir growth during their formative years” while working with carpet looms.

December 19, 2008

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 1:17 am

article in stockholms fria magazine about our new show:

December 17, 2008

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 1:23 am

about our new show in Rodeo magazines blog:

December 16, 2008

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 9:25 pm

December 6, 2008

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 3:50 am

La Tierra Salvaje i Botkyrka Konsthall
13 dec 2008 – 14 mars 2009
Vernissage lördag 13 december kl. 14-18

Dilomprizulike (Nigeria)
Valeria Montti Colque (SE)
Marcus MÃ¥rtenson (SE)

Den 13 december, en av Ã¥rets mörkaste dagar och när julhandeln drar igÃ¥ng pÃ¥ allvar – öppnar Botkyrka Konsthall en grupputställning som inbjuder till reflektion om överflöd, avfall och Ã¥tervinning, i kombination med mystik och religiösa symboler.

Konstnärerna Dilomprizulike (Nigeria), Valeria Montti Colque (SE) och Marcus MÃ¥rtenson (SE) möts i utställningen La Tierra Salvaje, ett spanskt uttryck för vildmark, ‘den rovaktiga världen’. Gemensamt för konstnärerna är att de arbetar med insamlat material – alltifrÃ¥n kläder och möbler till trasiga leksaker. Vad som annars skulle ha slängts blir pÃ¥ Botkyrka Konsthall grunden till ett samarbete ur vilket egensinniga gestalter och en performance växer fram. Materialinsamlingen startade redan i somras under Stockholms Kulturfestival och har fortsatt pÃ¥ Botkyrka Konsthall i samarbete med boende i Botkyrka. I La Tierra Salvaje sluts cirkeln när de före detta ägarna söker efter sina ‘värdelösa’ föremÃ¥l som nu är bestÃ¥ndsdelar i en nyskapad bild- och idévärld.

Utställningens utgångspunkt ären otämjd och äventyrslysten vildmark. Konsthallen blir en plats där monster, helgonoch sagodjur möter besökarnas personliga erfarenheter och symboliska referenser.

Valeria Montti Colque och Marcus MÃ¥rtenson har tidigare arbetat tillsammans i performance och installationer där de blandar myter, religioner och trossystem med frÃ¥gor om konsumtion. I La Tierra Salvaje samarbetar de för första gÃ¥ngen med den nigerianske konstnären Dilomprizulike, mest känd som “The Junkman of Africa”. I samband med Dilomprizulikes medverkan i Africa Remix, 2006 pÃ¥ Moderna Museet i Stockholm, väcktes tanken om att göra nÃ¥got tillsammans:”Sedan vi träffades för första gÃ¥ngen för tvÃ¥ Ã¥r sedan, samarbetar vi som ‘själsliga kusiner’ med ett öppet och äventyrligt sinnelag som viktigaste element. Det är vÃ¥r förhoppning att med den här utställningen inspirera besökare i samma anda” säger konstnärerna enstämmigt.

Dilomprizulike har medverkat i ett stort antal internationella utställningar, bland andra Dakarbiennalen och Guangdzoutribenalen, han driver ett eget ateljéprogram för konstnärer samt föreläser på en rad institutioner runtom i världen. Valeria Montti Colque gick ut Kungliga Konsthögskolan 2004 och ställde tidigare i år ut på Den 1:a på Moderna. Marcus Mårtenson är uppvuxen i USA och verksam konstnär både i Sverige och internationellt. Han tog nyligen en fil. kand. i religionsvetenskap.

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