The abovementioned work was inspired by my time working on a flower plantation in Joostenberg Vlakte in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. The work performed was physically taxing as we cleared the area of snakes, manually stacked pallets and (un)/loaded trucks with countless crates of unique flowers.In order to keep up with workload, myself and other workers coupled bread with potato chips for a boost of energy. Every morning 5 loaves would be bought with none left remaining at lunch time which we nicknamed ‘baktyd’. Bread was a form of currency within the workspace as slices would be bartered for cigarettes, lighter workloads and condiments.
Fast forward to July 2021, when looting and vandalism scourged parts of Gauteng and KZN which threatened a food shortage. According to the Sowetan Live, “Durban residents paid between R20 and R40 for a loaf after bread became a scarce item” (Govender, 2021). This is all too reminiscent of the bread price-fixing collusion of 2006 that negatively affected the livelihoods of the poor. The power of bread is only experienced when it is shared and distributed fairly and equally if history has taught us anything.
Bak Tyd Bronze & Wood 45.5 x 36.5 x 16.5 cm 2020
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