The Movement by Gael Reagon

The Movement

migrare move shift evolve

conspirare breathe together co-conspire live

Where to start. With a story about the street. Any street in any city in the solar system as known.

We’ll walk Long Street, the one in the Mother City. Cape of Good Hope: south of South. Enclave

and alpha of the Atshuomato clan whose forbear surfed the seas from the Island out of first

captivity. Our ancestral spirits stretching from the Waterfront docks to Cape Point, ranging up and

down Huri!axa [Hoerikwagga, Table Mountain], swirling in the confluence of the rapids Indian and

Atlantic. Here I walk apex 21stC, urban nomad, and find:



Sindayihebura. War migrant. Glocal. That is, exhibiting global consciousness, rootslocal

living. Global Local GLOCAL. St. Martini’s she lives in, CBD Cape Town. Exquisite young articulate

woman. From Burundi she is. That’s one of the slivers of central African humanity that traversed

into excess: where cokedchild, bloodsniffer soja SAW a Hutu mother for a Tutsi brother and

hacked off its nose. Or toes. Maybe they saw a rose. And cut.

Mimi is one of the sane ones. She is here from there and aware of our delicacy of existence.

Studying, working @ Cool Runnings and caring for some of the young strollers who destabilize this

slavespace equilibrium. Playing ball in the Company Gardens, inviting her more trusted ones to her

home where they devour TV crouched foetal on the living room floor. Sister.



Ole Miyandazi. Shukra clothed Savannah man. Walked barefoot from Kenya through

Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana to Long Street to enclose himself in a metre-wide barbedwired tepee.

Reasoning with all who come to gaze:

Your sole responsibility is to take care of life and let life take care of you.

His ancestral Maaisai land, their winterland, stolen and ravaged by his government to sell wheat to

the West. His father killed in the re-colonization. Short-range, he says. Travel through the seasons

of the land, live off it, allow it to fallow, return. Prophet.



. Street stroller. So smart and dignified and feisty that when he has made enough money

for the day, he offers to buy the cops coffee. Am at Joburg’s Bar, Lang Straat, hazed late October

afternoon; gathered for the migration from lower to upper.


Daai ding van ons loop sommer, check

alles onder die son, bewonder die kinners en die ware die pedicures en al die phantasmic hare.

That thing of just walking, checking everything under the sun, in wondrousness at the children the

wares the phantasmic hair.

Pondering rather lazily why Mz universe be a bitch when Bongani & Candice & Billy enter the

frame. And she’s shooting. Puts Dr Seuss beanie on Bongani’s head, re-arranges him, he grins like

an xmutated cartoon networked creature. And then you have an image of Bongani – not branded

Bongani the black streetkid whose posture of perpetual beggary justifies your defence of the

indefensible. Just a freaky Bongani being his age of alertness, invoked by a young white woman

photographer who cares enuff. Warriors.



. Blazing apocalypse. Tourist conflagration. Arrive from the Karoo, where I have been

walking the ironstoned Koppies with Cicadas and Lepidoptera as guides. To find our Table

Mountain consumed by near-uncontainable flames. One more case of homo sapiens

[species:intelligent] in the orgiastic grip of stupidity. Consider the irony: a fire-dependent ecosystem

– much of the world’s Silverleaf Tree population destroyed – laid to waste by a fire started out of

man’s carelessness. Evolutionary regression. Instead of adapting, we proclaim reign. We make

death unseasonal and living unnatural. We consume the short existence we have on planet earth

through perpetual violence against each other, the environment and other species; based on the

thinnest of treadmills about what makes us different. What makes us different is that we are part of

nature. Our diversity ensures our continuity. Naughty by Nature. So, back to your ROUTES.



it. Triphop tot jy drop. Do the saartjie baartman. Dans met jou medusaslang shadows innie sand en

deur die land.

ends. gael reagon. feb08. cape town.

1 comment
  1. GAEL ! What writing ! I knew , know and shall always knowthat you’re an EXRAORDINARY writer . fondest regards . Thereson ( the french plaas jaapie ! waneer kom jy kuier ? makesme a bit nrevous but know that it’s a sincere invitation loooooooove to all the Cloete – Reagons Therese

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