Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Over the past year, we've witnessed highly emotive engagements around the issue of land, and its expropriation without compensation. We have seen the commissions and heard the diverse representations that took place. This included the condescending "what are you going to do with the land" question, which also came from Brownies.
I would like to share our personal journey centred around the "land issue", or rather the "landlessness issue". We started the BrownSense Market in its current form, in June 2016. Prior to that, we had had two markets/exhibitions under the headline "BrownSense Black Capital", both of which were held in indoor spaces. We were then offered an outdoor space on a plot in Glen Austin, Midrand and so 'BrownSense @ The Farm' was born. It did not take long before we experienced the following:
- Our posters were forcibly taken down by our neighbours, while we stood from a distance, paralysed by the disbelief in what we saw;
- A guest of the market had a gun pointed at them by a "concerned neighbour";
- The owner of the plot became the subject of attacks by his neighbours.
This experience led us to the decision to procure other premises, and again, similar activities took place. Many more stories like the above can be shared, but we remain resolute and driven by the goal to have the market one day owning its own space. Brownies have, since the beginning, been asking for this.
As you go through this issue of BrownSense Magazine, consider the land issue deeply: what it means for you, and for us as a collective. We are, after all, about finding solutions and not getting stuck in feeling helpless while waiting for a saviour.
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