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Beauty for Ashes

16m Documentary, Short 2022

Located in the harsh desert terrain of Kleinzee in the Northern Cape, Beauty for Ashes delves into the abandoned diamond mines on the border between South Africa and Namibia. These mining fields, which global diamond mining conglomerates have abandoned, have now been occupied by communities within these forgotten towns. The diggers who inhabit these areas either independently or in self-organised companies, have done so in response to the unemployment crisis in South Africa. With their makeshift tools and skills learned from their community (some of whom were previously employed by these multinational mining conglomerates,) they try to bring in some form of economic income. A large proportion of the diggers are from various parts of Southern Africa, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho. Similarly, the BedRock has attracted people from all over South Africa, including people from the urban periphery of the Cape Flats, in the City of Cape Town. These individuals who trek from the Western Cape province into the Northern Cape are questing to excavate diamonds or mineral remnants that can be sold on the illegal market. This quest for survival draws an immediate and clear correlation to the popularized Land Debate in South Africa as to the procedures for land expropriation without compensations for multinational corporations who were an integral part in displacing many previously rooted populations in these localities.

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Adrian Van Wyk


Afrikaans, English


South Africa