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HOMELESS (article first published : 2002-09-25)

An exhibition titled Homeless: Surviving on the streets of Durban is running at the KwaMuhle Museum, 130 Ordnance Road.

As the working class and the poor bear the brunt of post-apartheid globalisation, Durban seeks to market itself internationally in the same way as it has been sold locally: as “sun, surf and fun”. But for many impoverished South Africans, from almost every social background, the streets of “Ocean City” have become the last resort - a place where, although dangers and hardship are ever-present, at least the weather is kind, and occasionally a tourist in high spirits may feel inclined to extend a helping hand.

Homeless: Surviving on the streets of Durban gives some historical background and global context to the growing incidence of deprivation and marginalisation visible on Durban's streets today. It asks such questions as: Why apartheid-era Durban was apparently free of the destitution we see today; How we define “homelessness” (Are the landless also homeless people?); What sociological reasons exist for more and more 'street kids' (more correctly, homeless children) begging at intersections; and - Whether vagrants and derelicts are not the starkest symbols of 21stcentury affluent society's increasing moral self-detachment from the fate of our most severely disadvantaged?

KwaMuhle Museum is situated at 130 Ordnance Road.




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