My work is inspired by the lives of street vendors in Durban urban spaces.
I investigate how both South Africans and foreign immigrants who move to the city negotiate the norms in attempting to become financially self-sufficient.
In my work I also interrogate the mainstream of how do street hawkers create informal settlements within the city. I go to the inner city to identify and interview the vendors directly as I get a lot different and similar issues on how these people chose to live their lives as street vendors.
My investigation also tells me that, to a large extent, one can perceive street vending as an act of defiance against the city’s authorities who have in some way neglected hawkers by keeping them marginalized.
I am also informed by my own teenage experiences where I had to support myself as I was raised by a domestic worker single parent. Most of these street vendors are supporting their large families and paying school fees for their children with the little that they make in the streets, resulting from unemployment in this country.
Most job advertisements in the newspapers states that you have to “have experience before you get a job of your qualification”. Some of these street hawkers have Degrees and Diplomas but they cannot get employed and they ended up in the streets business rather than choosing crime which I personally find a positive path.
Street vendors can be identified as icons of the city since they are everywhere, forming a large part of the pulse of the city. My investigation of these issues is enacted through the construction and the use of a mixed mediums. The creation and maintenance of my work can be understood as one large artwork, made up of many parts, each of which focuses on different aspects of the street vendor’s life.