The stranger who licked salt back into our eyes (2009) stop-frame animation 4min 55sec
The work recreates the history of the arrival of a stranger in a land where he has come to find himself and his love. The foreigner brings with him knowledge which is on one level enlightening but also burdening - a disability. With him he carries all his tools and crafts, the prosthesis he needs to survive and carry on his melancholic search. Bound to the earth through his disability, he cannot escape his serpentine existence. He burrows through the landscape archaeologically, unearthing historical evidence with hints of apocalyptic revelations of what has brought about his fate. The work subtly negotiates themes around xenophobia, with contrasting imagery from Greece (the origin of the word xenophobia is Greek ‘xeni’, meaning foreigner or stranger) and that of imagery from sites traversed by the Dorsland Trekkers across Southern Africa. The soundtrack is adapted from a traditional Swahili love song Malaika (Angel/love),long described as an unofficial Pan-African anthem, sung by Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makheba. It is sung from the perspective of a young lover who cannot marry due to financial woes.