Block A: Thokoza Women’s Hostel – Angela Buckland

Angela Buckland’s BLOCK A, Thokoza Women’s Hostel is a second instalment of BLOCK A, Jacob’s Mens Hostel. The work extensively elaborates on living conditions in an urban African city.

Thokoza is the oldest women’s hostel in South Africa and is situated in Durban. Originally one of the only residential spaces where black women could live in the city in Apartheid, there is a lot of speculation as to whether they are good or bad for those who live in them, cramped into small living spaces while also being liberated from many familial or patriarchal pressures.

This work intrigued me since it carries such weight, it serves as a valuable piece of documentation and also because, I myself, am finding a greater love for photography as a medium every day. It was an intensive installation process but at the end of the day every experience in the art world ads another thread to your cloth of knowledge and skill.

There are apparently many issues between the younger and older people in the hostel.

There are apparently many issues between the younger and older people in the hostel.

The doors, each a portal to another room within which anything from three to nine or more people have to share a space meant for only three people.

The doors, each a portal to another room within which anything from three to nine or more people have to share a space meant for only three people.

Installation view from a distance.

Installation view from a distance.

An example of a row that is longer, meaning that the room is filled with a lot more people.

An example of a row that is longer, meaning that the room is filled with a lot more people.

Angela Buckland, the artist, shared many intimate moments with the residents as can be seen here.

Angela Buckland, the artist, shared many intimate moments with the residents as can be seen here.

Try and imagine that your whole world, your home, is basically just the space of a bed.

Try and imagine that your whole world, your home, is basically just the space of a bed.

The information of each card lends to this massive artwork a depth that is equally massive.

The information of each card lends to this massive artwork a depth that is equally massive.

Getting the bed by the window is something one earns. It also means that you stay in the corner and that there is more of a sense of privacy not having to be between two beds.

Getting the bed by the window is something one earns. It also means that you stay in the corner and that there is more of a sense of privacy not having to be between two beds.

Dear House

By Kevin du Plessis

If,

There was a thing

To see within your walls

I must admit mere eyes of glass

There is that may have caught a wing

Of yellow feather passing by

In the tree that stands so tall

Roots all reaching for your fall

From  below  She  has  to  try

To crack your bricks and free,

The space, you jailed just for me