A photograph of women and children
South Africa, Cape Town (ca. 1900)
South Africa, Cape Town (1990s-2000s)
Cape Malay Minstrels
South Africa, Cape Town (2010s)
Zaida Booley [and her mother Yasmina], Cafe Zorina
South Africa, Cape Town (2012)
So my friends Lai Chee Kien and Aric Lim have suggested I talk about the Cape Malays: a Muslim Asian community mostly based in the Western cape of South Africa. They’re mostly descended from Javanese who were enslaved and brought over by the Dutch East India Company from the 17th century onwards, but some are from Dutch Melaka, South Asia and the Arab world. They built up a pretty cool little community in the colourful Cape Town township of Bo-Kaap:
South Africa, Cape Town (2011)
By the 20th century, they’d cultivated a thoroughly syncretic culture - they were still Muslim, but they spoke Afrikaans, sang Dutch music called nederlandslied in their own distinctively soulful way, and introduced their foods to the rest of the population: bobotok became bobotie; satay became sosaties.
Under apartheid, the Cape Malays were classified as “Coloured”, although in the 1970s some chose to identify as “Black” as a political act. They fought back, too - the Claremont Road Mosque was a vital meeting point for the resistance.
Today, their culture gets its due recognition, especially on 2 January, at the festival of Kaapse Klopse, where the Coloured community celebrates the New Year through minstrel and choir performances. On the street, this is called the Coon Carnival - and folks do traditionally paint their faces for the occasion, although thankfully they do seem to prefer colours other than black:
From Annual Malay Choir and Minstrels Carnival
South Africa Cape Town (2013)
Read more here:
remember when u were like 11 and the only thing u wanted was a lava lamp
I’m 24 going on 25. And I will be unbelievably happy if someone were to give me a lava lamp.
The pen will never be able to move fast enough to write down every word discovered in the space of memory. Some things have been lost forever, other things will perhaps be remembered again, and still other things have been lost and found and lost again. There is no way to be sure of any this.
Paul Auster (via amandaonwriting)