Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stay KILLaFLY!!!: The Collective fund raising

The NMMU International Cultural Exhibition, I personally had fun, burnt the midnight oil cooking caril de amendoim and it came out amazing. As photographed by:  "Stay KILLaFLY!!!: The Collective fund raising: Food, Music, Fashion and Art The event was held at the Granary, Stanley Street, P.E. NMMU fashion and textile students were raising funds ..."

Friday, April 6, 2012

How I spent earth hour

This year I took part in Earth Hour, it fell on the 31st of March during my 10 day study break. For those that don’t know Earth Hour is a worldwide event organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and held on the last Saturday of March annually, encouraging households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.

Before Earth Hour I charged my phone, in order to use the flashlight when I switched off the lights. I heated my dinner in the microwave. Then the alarm went off, it was time. I updated my WhatsApp status to Earth Hour. At 8pm I switched off the television, the lights, I unplugged the radio and my phone. The microwave emitted the only light left within my room like a furnace in an eerie basement. It soon went off too and I was in darkness. Albeit not in total darkness, looking into the courtyard outside my window I saw that nobody else was taking part in Earth hour in my complex.  In my corridor, all the lights were still on. One other room was in darkness, that person could have either been taking part in the cause or just left for the break. I laid out my yoga matt and did 150 sit ups in the dark. I’ve been doing them consistently since the start of the year, but I have to say it is a mission to get those perfect abs. In just about every media source that features a dude with ripped abs chances are he is flexing them, look closer they never breathe. I usually do them in two varied sets, after 60 straight push ups I feel the pain but I push further to 75+, focusing on my breathing rather than the pain. After mini-workout I looked into the mirror with the flashlight projecting from my phone, maybe it was the contrast in lighting but I could see some defined contours on my abs. Progress. 

Then I took the food out of the microwave and ate. Pork chops with gravy, rice and vegetables on the side.  While eating I wondered what was on TV, we’re so dependent on technology that when removed from it we become fish out of water with our gills still flapping for it. During Earth Hour I ate my meal rather slowly, I literally took my time. Afer taking the last bite, in the spur of the moment I made hand shadows, projected by my cell phone light towards the wall. Sitting there alone I chuckled at my momentary return to innocence. I made a bird, a duck, a dog and a rabbit, I had not done this in years. We are so caught up in our day to day activities that we forget the trivial things that once brought so much joy to us. It was 8:45, I had work to do so I got to it with my flashlight.
I read an article on the March 2012 issue of “New African”, the article entitled “Is Africa there for the taking?” was a reading into former president Thabo Mbeki’s thought-provoking address at a conference organised by the Makerere University of Social Research, in Kampala, Uganda. It spoke of how since postcolonial independence the dominant superpowers, the capitalist US and the socialist Soviet Union, intervened in Africa to keep the continent under its sphere of influence. Even with the end of the Cold War that neo-colonialist system continues in the capitalist world today pressuring Africa to become a continent of democracy and free market economy to be accepted as a worthy international partner in the dominant capitalist system. It was an interesting article and relevant to an African Film essay I was writing concerning the films Lumumba, Karmen Gei and Blood Diamond. The last half hour elapsed and with that I turned back on the technological appliances. I had to adjust the clock on my radio/docking station, it got disorientated after an hour without electricity. I changed my Whatsapp status to “Eye on the ball”.
Did I feel virtuous? I am not an environmentalist, the best I do normally is not littering. But there was no hypocrisy in my participation, I just felt like doing something significant. Some critics however, disagree with the significance of Earth Hour. In March 2010, the Telegraph quoted electricity experts that “it would therefore result in an increase in carbon emissions” due to complications related to rapidly lowering then raising electricity generations.  Some have argued that Earth Hour is an anti-technology cause and that people will simply use candles instead which are undesirable because they are petroleum based. I think these critics are missing the point, Earth hour isn’t a quick fix to climate change. Earth hour is symbolic, it is supposed to shake people out of apathy. Just in the last few years our planet has experienced droughts, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, things are not looking good. Everyone on earth is united by one thing, our planet and it is the only one we have.
Edgar Munguambe