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26 March 2018 Photo Pixabay
Back to the drawing board to save water
We’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands.

Dr Cindé Greyling, a University of the Free State (UFS) DiMTEC (Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa) alumni, studied drought mitigation with a strong focus on communicating important water-saving information. 

Can we run out of water?
Yes, and no, says Dr Greyling. “To our knowledge, water is not ‘leaking’ through our atmosphere. We have what we have, but that doesn’t mean we will have enough clean, fresh water forever. Nature has a magnificent way of purifying water through the water cycle. We, on the other hand, must use a lot of money and energy to purify water. Also, we’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands. The other problem is a simple supply and demand scenario. More people will need more water, but not only that, population growth calls for industry development and increased food supplies – all of which require more water.”    

A war over water
Besides some Hollywood impressions, it is difficult to imagine a war over water, but it is possible. “Some experts are convinced that we are heading there, and others claim that such tensions already exist. Personally, I don’t favour these kinds of shock tactics (or truths) – social research has shown us that it rarely leads to behavioural changes. We can learn a lot from what was has been done in Cape Town. Although we all think people were bombarded with ‘Day-Zero’-scares, they were actually encouraged to adapt their behaviour with a communication campaign that hardly ever used the term ‘Day-Zero’. This approach mobilised citizens to reach record lows of water usage.” 

Adapt a new normal
Dr Greyling encourages the “new normal” set in motion by Capetonians. “Water consciousness is needed, even when the rain comes again. We’ve taken water for granted for too long. As consumers, we have the power to turn this situation around – drop for drop. Be aware about the amount of water you use, how you use it, and for what. Keep in mind that any wastage and pollution (of ‘dry’ things) also wastes and pollutes water. Generally, we need to behave better regarding consumption.”  

News Archive

Award-winning photographer exhibits ravages of war, 25 May 2016 until 17 June 2016
2016-06-02

Description: Unsettled exibition Tags: Unsettled exibition

The ruins of the Dimbaza Border Industrial Park built
in the 1970s as a source of cheap labour for industrialists
and ostensible employment for Ciskei Homeland citizens.
This industrial zone collapsed after 1994.
Photo: Images courtesy of the Galerie Seippel. 
All images © Cedric Nunn

Cedric Nunn’s latest photographic exhibition, Unsettled: One Hundred Years War of Resistance by Xhosa Against Boer and British, opened on 25 May 2016 at the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery of University of the Free State, and will run until 17 June 2016. Since 2014, the exhibition has travelled through South Africa and the USA as well as Germany.

The photographer, documentary film-maker, and artist’s photographic journey was launched in the early 1980s in Durban. In 2011, he won the first FNB Joburg Art Fair Award.

Narratives of the victors and the vanquished

Unsettled deals with the nine wars that Xhosa people were subjected to between 1779 and 1879 in their fight against Afrikaner and British colonial settler forces. Nunn’s art seeks to instigate social change, and highlight lesser-seen aspects of society.

The work emanated from his awareness of a notable gap in the telling of this piece of South African history, as well as the fact that, to date, little has been done to memorialise these acts of colonial aggression and Xhosa resistance. He decided to document the land where these struggles took place.

“Through revisiting this painful past in the contemporary scenes of today, this work attempts to place the present in its factual context of dispossession and conquest,” said Nunn.

Unsettled
forms the first component of what will be a trilogy. The next component will address the legacy of colonial dispossession through “bringing ‘the first inhabitants’ back into the picture by giving a select number of self-describing Khoi, Griqua, and San or Bushmen a contemporary face and presence”. The final component will look at slavery.

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