Simon Wood, Meghna Singh / Electric South
South Africa / VR / 17 min
Container makes visible the ‘invisiblized’ bodies enabling our consumer society. Confronting slavery through an ever-transforming shipping container, the past becomes the present, the invisible become visible. We witness the shards of society: the ghosts of the past and living spectres of the modern world. Our journey begins at Clifton beach, Cape Town where lie the graves of the 221 enslaved men and women who drowned in shackles when a Portuguese slave ship sank in 1794. Following chains, we dive into the depths of the ocean in search of the ancestors, the missing, that haven’t been laid to rest yet. A shipping container emerges, the doors burst open, we enter the darkness. What follows is an ever-morphing transmutation of dark societal truths within the bounds of a shipping container: a non-linear world across time and space that presents different tableaus of the enslaved silently suffering. We witness a wounded man in a sugarcane plantation crawl into a colonial house where an overworked maid reveals the scene of a massage parlour. The journey culminates at a container depot where boxes are being packed and unpacked, feeding into an endless circulation of goods, in service of a consumerist society enabled by the millions who came before and are still trapped in servitude.