Sea Point Promenade: A Photographic Journey in the Anthropocene

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1895: You arrived by train, which was hungry for coal. You polluted the salty air you came to breach in.
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1958: You arrived by car, which was hungry for oil, being fed by the low paid from a shell not found on the beach. You polluted the salty air you came to breath in.

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2015: You arrived by car, which was hungry for oil, still being fed by the low paid from a shell not found on a beach. You polluted the salty air you came to breath in.

Activity One

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1950: You sat and picnicked. Your children played on the swings. A nuclear family in the age of the atom.
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1975: You sat and picnicked. Your children played on the swings. A nuclear family in the age of environmental awakening.
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2015: You sat and picnicked. Your children played on the swings. A nuclear family in the age of the Anthropocene.

Activity Two

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1947: You sat on the promenade, away from the urban sprawl.

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2105: You sat on the promenade, away from the urban sprawl.

Activity Three

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1895: You photographed the sea, pounding the resilient rocks.
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2015: You photographed the sea, pounding the resilient rocks.

Activity Four

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1895: You walked your dog, enjoying the ‘natural’ exuberance of your prefered companion species.

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2015: You walked your dog, enjoying the ‘natural’ exuberance of your preferred companion species.
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1976: You regulated your dog, denying the ‘natural’ exuberance of your preferred companion species.
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2015: You regulated your dog, denying the ‘natural’ exuberance of your preferred companion species.

Activity Five

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1894: You looked out to sea and saw a ship powered by the wind, being towed by the future.

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2015: You looked out to sea and saw a ship powered by oil which was looking for more oil.

Activity Six

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1900: You walked on the beach and noticed a pipe that went into the sea – giving or taking you did not know. The rocks were remarkable – stoic and unmoved.
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1980: You walked on the beach and noticed where a pipe had once been, rusting metal all that was left. The rocks were remarkable – stoic and unmoved.
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2015: You walked on the beach and noticed where a pipe had once been, rusting metal all that was left. The rocks were remarkable – stoic and unmoved.

Departure

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1898: You left by train, which was hungry for coal. You polluted the air you came to breath in.
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1970: You left in your car, which was hungry for oil. You polluted the air you came to breath in.
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2015: You left in your car, which was hungry for oil. You polluted the air you came to breath in.

A Postscript About Agency

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2015: Sea, tell us which paving slabs to place on the promenade, we don’t know, will you hep us? (Green Point Paving Test Area)

All vintage images copyright Western Cape Archives and Records Service, Cape Town. All contemporary images copyright Neil Overy.

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