In the worx
Skorrplap is a South African word whose origins I imagine (as an amateur linguist and actual multilinguist) are 'skuurlap', Afrikaans for 'scouring cloth'. Its contemporary usage is in all our local Bantu languages, on a daily basis. The skorrplap is the ubiquitous bête noir of the black household, which is what makes it iconic. In this chapbook, I examine it and compare it to its pristine counterpart, the fatuku originally vaatdoek ( the surface kitchen cloth) and invite the audience to interact with the imagery through a quiz, to distinguish the skorrplap from other mistakable cloths like the waslap: the washing rag, by looking at its context.
I thank the original compiler and illustrator of this cultural iceberg for structuring what I already knew but need reminding of. Many of the elements below the surface, I could not attribute to a cause, when I would perceive a culture gap, but this diagram has furnished me with vocabulary. My chapbook will look at concepts of cleanliness and rules of conduct, splicing them with my own life and experiences living with a partner of a different culture. It is my partner in fact who came up with the génial anecdote "Once a skorrplap always a skorrplap'', signalling his understanding of this cultural object and spurring me to let humour lead this long-legged topic.
Commenced Feb 2022, project in progress.
Attention designers and book formatters who would like to collaborate on this, I am very open to ways of executing it.
I left Myanmar at the end of April 2021, after living there for more than 6 years, because of the military coup. My happy, immersed life there allowed for my gaze, unrushed, to find a point of interest, making for some of my finest work to emerge. Not only do I want to showcase my honest and distinct visual delivery with this book, but I want to show the many fascinating ways in which Myanmar can be, depending how you look. My emotional wound is scarring over, from the comfort of my temporary resettlement in breezy, unthreatening Chiang Mai. The people of Myanmar however, weather fresh physical and emotional injury and affliction, with death befalling some directly because of war.
I am looking for a publisher for my book. In addition, I am looking for someone to contribute a meaningful foreword.
In the book I would like to comment, with a degree of irony, on the defunct notion of national character with regards to the aesthetic composition of the environment; as well as to examine the style of my photography. Somehow Myanmar now feels like a fiction, and the heartwarming, offbeat quality I loved about it and that I captured in my photos translates now as eerie and sad.
I would like to invite academics who would like to partake in this book, as well as an editor who can bring coherence to my ideas.
Below is a sample of the imagery:
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