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Vanderbijlpark, 26/4/2015, day 2

Picture: Arne Peters

Picture: Arne Peters

Since today is Sunday and we cannot do a lot, we take the opportunity to walk to a small supermarket very close by. We get many new impressions of the region and the everyday lives of residents of Vanderbijlpark. An episode from everyday life in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa: The world changes abruptly. From our barbed wire community we are stepping on unpaved roads and litter.

The construction of single-storey houses remind of American suburbs, only the state of the building makes it clear that this means poverty. Most of the terraces are surrounded by iron cage rods, metal signs invoke deadly force when entering private property. Ramshackle and rusted minibuses torment themselves roaring along the streets. Suddenly around the corner, there is silence, pigeons cooing and the trimmed lawns. However, behind a three-meter- high fence lies colonial life. The white clothing and sun hats, bowlers ("rolbal") seem strange in the midst of filth, not five meters away. Laughing under umbrellas makes you not worry about life beyond the fence. In the evening they climb into their car and drive back to their walled compounds.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Wolf
Am Neuen Palais 10 
14469 Potsdam
Telefon: 0331/977-1494 
E-Mail: hgwolfuni-potsdamde, presseuni-potsdamde

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Text: Joana Schmidt und Julius Wolf
Online-Editing: Agnes Bressa, Translation: Diana Banmann
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