Ismail Farouk - God’s Land (2006)
From IN/FLUX - Mediatrips from the African World (2011)
South Africa / 2009 / 3mins / Documentary, Experimental / English
Highlands Hill in Yeoville is an important public space where African Indigenous religious practices dominate. This spiritual hill provides open space for hundreds of worshippers to gather in prayer on a daily basis. Much of the religious activity occurs in contravention of the regulations set out by the city parks utility company who manage the space. City Parks have signposted the hill as a ‘no prayer’ zone. It seems the city does not recognize the inherent spiritual value of the space and often enforce the ‘no prayer’ regulation by threatening to arrest worshippers for loitering. Much of the hill is earmarked to be redeveloped as housing for inner city residents. God’s Land attempts to bring much needed attention to the spatial justice issues being experienced on Highland’s Hill. By altering existing exclusionary signposts on the hill, the work attempts to point to the conflict between the spiritual needs of the local community vs. the needs of mainstream development.