In July The Centre for the Less Good Idea hosted ‘Histories of the Invisible’, a musically poetic endeavour by Dr Andile Khumalo in collaboration with Siphiwe Shiburi, Raimi Gbadamosi, Dean Salant, Andisiwe Mpinda and Velaphi Ramphele.
In this musically poetic endeavour, Dr Andile Khumalo is joined by Siphiwe Shiburi, Raimi Gbadamosi, Dean Salant and Velaphi Ramphele. HISTORIES OF THE INVISIBLE is an intimate look at the role culture and tradition play when one escapes home and lands in the city of gold.
I left my land in search of a better life, and to escape the claws of a powerful man who was determined to marry me against my will, and even my family’s will. Culture and tradition would support his advances though, after all he was rich and powerful. I am poor and weak, so I ran far away, and landed in the city of gold. The city glowed from afar, I slipped in following the allure, and I reside.
I reside between the gaps, I am not a carrier of the right documents in this city of paper. In the city of paper, it is the paper that makes the body exist. I have been here for five Earth years, and I have no access to the benefits I contribute to. The indigenes create difference between me and them, even as I look the same way they do.
This thing called xenophobia is a constant threat. I exist knowing they can choose to end my existence. Fire consumes all in its path, fire can consume me. And yet I endure.
I cannot return ‘home’. I cannot return to poverty and threat. It is not that the city of gold has opened its coffers to me, but I make a living, and I am loved by some. And even if my suffocating suitor has found another to dominate, pride has its own fury long after the act has calmed.
There is now solace in sound. The waves wash over me. I know that in the emergent reverberations of the yet-to-be named instrument there is hope. It has become the means of translating existence. I know the burghers of the city of gold pretend I do not exist, that others like me do not exist, it is easier for them that way. And when we are incinerated, what did not exist can not suddenly have form.
But this new sound will speak for me, for us. The sound will tell of our being.
COMPOSER/DIRECTOR | Andile Khumalo
VISUAL ARTIST | Raimi Gbadamosi
MUSICIANS AND COMPOSERS | Velaphi Ramphele, Siphiwe Shiburi and Dean Salant
ACTOR | Andisiwe Mpinda
PHOTOGRAPHER | Zivanai Matangi