THE SEA OF LONGING

THE SEA OF LONGING
THE SEA OF LONGING
THE SEA OF LONGING

In a performance installation Brett made for the Spier Contemporary Exhibition in December 2007 he worked with a Kenyan refugee, Dorcas Moraas, and her 7 month-old son, Emmanuel. The piece, titled ‘The Sea of Longing’ had Dorcas and Emmanuel posed like a Madonna and Child in a cage and surrounded by razor wire, separated from the Christmas banquet that was spread before them. Visitors entered one at a time and were invited to eat from the table.

Dorcas’ entire family was murdered one night late in 2006 in ethnic violence in Nairobi. Seven months pregnant she fled, travelling in a cardboard box on the back of a truck to reach South Africa and hope. Emmanuel was born several months late as a result of the trauma.


‘The Sea of Longing’ looked at the plight of African immigrants who flee to our ‘Land of Milk and Honey’, and find here few if any opportunities. Also the sense of powerlessness to make a meaningful difference to these people that assails those of us who are privileged.  

South Africa has several million African immigrants and refugees, most of them in a desperate situation. A wave of xenophobic violence in May 2008 saw tens of thousands of these people displaced, and 60 murdered.



HISTORY:

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  • 2007: Spier Contemporary (Cape Town)
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