12 of April 2013
Nafasi Art Space, Dr es Salaam, Tanzania
I supposed to make a project about children games in Tanzania. However the reality has changed the topic into the games of adults. It was my first weekend in Dar when my equipment was stolen quite creatively. This experience forced me to do a research about security issue in Dar es Salaam.
I decided to use any simple camera I can borrow, and it will be suitable to Tanzanian “second hand” style. I asked and accepted any help from other artists of art space and any other participant.
While life in an expanding city becomes to be more and more dangerous, most people don’t want to accept it. Even though if they had bad experience, they are trying to forget it. They are dancing, singing and trying to defy the unpleasant news. Maybe it is just an auto training to be able to stay longer in this dangerous place?
Don’t be scared, just if you are walking along the road chose the side where you can see cars coming. Don’t carry backpacks. Keep only small amount of money in you pockets. Don’t carry bags. Don’t be alone. Life in Tanzania is devoid of stress.
The issue of fear is the main in this film. It is also about my own fear and desire to survive during two months in challenging environment.
Video, 25 min
The second screen with Security Notice from American Embasy in Dar es Salaam, January 2013
Along with film I presented a site specific installation Setup. However I think this situation shows not only problems of Africa, but first of all the imperfection of the global system.
Every one wants to help Africa. However are donations a good help?
I came to Tanzania as an Artist in Residency for 2 months and was really surprised to see ugly forms capitalism has there in Africa. While some people don’t have enough food and live on the street others change expensive cars, have beautiful villas with security and staff for housework. Life was so easy here before capitalism, and local people don’t get to use to work hard here. However they easily learned that everything has material value. Some people ask money even if you help them. Level of education in the country is very low. This year most students failed their exams. At the same time I saw people in public buses were reading books how to be successful in business and how to save money. Micro finance banks become to be popular, but witches are more common. They ask to bring a part of albino’s body as it can help to get success in business or in other fields of life. There is no system, probably like in every developing country (even city doesn’t have plan and streets are without names), and this is let easily hide and steal money. Poverty makes people very creative not only in recycling, but also in tricks they use to steal.