Transposing emblem by Charles-Dee

At present, on the surface, South Africa seems like a mostly self-sufficient country when it comes to food production. It even exports a lot of excess produce annually to neighboring African countries. The recent drought has caused severe damage to the industry, but in terms of the climate it should still be strong enough to bounce back, as food prices and supply are generally still in balance.

The concern is something different: the past few years have seen an increase in the murder of farmers in South Africa. The extent of this has reached the level of genocide. There are more farmers murdered in South Africa per year than policemen. If we consider the ratio of policemen to farmers, this means that being a farmer is the most dangerous job in the country. According to the latest available crime statistics, it is claimed that commercial farmers are 4.5 times as likely to be murdered as the South African population overall.

Askham, South Africa – Supermarket and gas station

Although the murders alone are atrocious and mostly very brutal, there is an underlying threat which poses a risk to not only South Africa, but also certain African states with commercial ties to the country. If South Africa’s food chain is continuously attacked at the current rate, it will not be able to sustain itself and will not be able to supply neighboring countries with additional resources to supplement their own shortfalls, as it has been doing for many years now.

To understand this threat and why it will not subside in the near future, one needs to understand the politics behind the problem.

Koopmansfontein, South Africa – Gas station

Unlike its neighbor, Zimbabwe, with whom the South African government has very strong ties, based on their historical background, South Africa is still a democracy and cannot openly approve “land grabs” (physically and usually violently removing owners from their property and claiming it) as a method of allowing the transfer of currently white-owned property to black ownership, since it knows this will have serious international ramifications. The governing ANC in South Africa, however, made a lot of promises to its followers when it came to power over 20 years ago, including that all people will get free housing and land. A promise which was and still is impossible to keep, but which sold well to its voters for the past few decades. The only problem now is that these people are tired of waiting for delivery of the promise.

Koopmansfontein, South Africa – Shopping center

The ANC is still far from satisfying their voters’ needs due in part to the massive corruption in the government with, amongst others, the Gupta state capture allegations involving the South African President, Jacob Zuma, and the Gupta brothers and amounting to billions of dollars in corruption and self-enrichment. This has now led to political instability within the ANC (up to the point of a possible split) as well as a major loss of support in the last general elections.

Lohatla, South Africa – Railway station

Representatives of the organized farming community, including black farm workers who are also victims of the farm violence and suffer from the loss of jobs after such murders, have been complaining to the government about their total ignorance of the threat and the failure of the police to react to the calls for additional assistance. The calls by opposition parties to react are mainly brushed off as racist, unfounded allegations, and the ANC government has refused to release any information about farm murders in their annual police crime report.

According to the individual statistics by the Agricultural Union and Afriforum of South Africa (due to the lack of figures from the government) 49 farmers were murdered during 2016, while the count already stood at 72 by the end of October 2017.

Rietfontein, South Africa – Self-catering and camping facilities at border to Nambia

The reason for the government’s failure to react is evident, as the end result is in line with the promises they are keeping to their voters, which is a depopulation of white farmers and turning land over to black owners. Although the possession of the land cannot be obtained by the government without compensation at the present time, the ANC and the far right political party, the EFF, have been advocating the uncompensated reclaiming of land (with the EFF outright calling for violent “land grabs” and their leader openly seeking “one bullet – one boer”).

Upington, South Africa – Sunrise

The government’s process for land restitution to return land previously de-owned by past governments (including the colonial British Empire) has closed, still leaving thousands of people’s claims unsettled for reasons that are not entirely clear. They might include lack of proof of previous ownership, inability to handle the matter, or the refusal or incapacity of the government to pay the current land owners who bought the land a fair price to return it free of charge to previous historical occupants. With the state coffers being ransacked by their staff, corruption is also a strong possibility. The government has now announced that they are considering reopening this process, the question, however, is whether it will now be with reasonable compensation for the existing owners who bought the land.

In light of this political background, most of the land owned by farmers who fall victim to a clearly organized campaign of genocide and so called “reclaiming” is being utilized for the ongoing production of food. Some families do this largely out of fear that successors will take over the operations. On the other hand, many farmers are also not willing to expand their business by buying these farms due to the risk of future de-ownership.

Grootdrink, South Africa – Entrance to Grootdrink village

Although the training of inexperienced farmers in South Africa is gaining momentum through educational institutions, government financed programs and even farmer organizations represented by the farming community willing to invest in the country’s future and sustainability, the project is still in its infancy.

The conclusion of this unfortunate situation and South Africa’s ability to sustain its food supply in the future is very evident, as the process is clearly a repeat of what happened in Zimbabwe – it just does not openly carry the official government’s seal of approval.


Postcard emblem at 1080


Photo 1: Rietfontein, South Africa – Sign on road – Grobler du Preez

Photo 2: Askham, South Africa – Supermarket and gas station – Grobler du Preez

Photo 3: Koopmansfontein, South Africa – Gas station – Grobler du Preez

Photo 4: Koopmansfontein, South Africa – Shopping center – Grobler du Preez

Photo 5: Lohatla, South Africa – Railway station – Grobler du Preez

Photo 6: Rietfontein, South Africa – Self-catering and camping facilities at border to Nambia – Grobler du Preez

Photo 7: Upington, South Africa – Sunrise – Grobler du Preez

Photo 8: Grootdrink, South Africa – Entrance to Grootdrink village – Grobler du Preez

Postcard emblem at 1080


Postcard emblem and The Archive of Global Instability on display at 1080 Wyckoff Ave, Queens NY

Cinemblem (cine emblem) at

See table of contents for The Archive of Global Instability at

Parts of the Emblem of Instability

Alvisi, Andrea. Political and Social Instability: The Brexit Mess. May 2017.

Bahras. Unstable Air Pollution – Unstable Solutions: Mongolia. June 2017.

Bichen, Svetlana Novoselova. Mental and Cultural Instability: Russia and Turkey. February 2017.

Bondarenko, Evgeny. Hybrid War: Ukraine. December 2018.

Borghi, Silvana Renée. Living in Inestabilidad. September 2017.

Caetano, Raphael. Instabilidade emocional: Brazil. February 2017.

Çakır, Peren. On the Road in Search of Stability: Argentina and Turkey. June 2017.

Casas, Marilin Guerrero. Emotional Estabilidad: The Key To a Happy Life – Cuba. December 2017.

Cordido, Verónica. Instability, a Stable Reality: Venezuela and America. April 2017.

Dastan, S.A. The Stability of Instability: Turkey and Syria. March 2017.

D’Adam, Anton. Psychosocial Instability in Argentina and America: El granero del mundo and The Manifest Destiny. January 2017.

Delibasheva, Emilia. Political Instability: Electoral Coups in America and Bulgaria. December 2016.

Ellie. Angry Folk: Korea. June 2017.

Farid, Isis Kamal. Stability Is Not An Option – Egypt. August 2017.

Friedrich, Angelika. Introduction: The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.

Fondevik, Vigdis. Unstable Nature: Norway and Denmark. October 2016.

Ghadir, Younes. Political Instability – Lebanon. September 2017.

Gotera, Jay R. In Flux Amid Rising Local and Regional Tensions – Philippines. November 2017.

Guillot, Iulianna. Starting and Staying in Instability – Moldova. October 2017.

Gjuzelov, Zoran. The Нестабилност of Transition – Macedonia. November 2017.

Halimi, Sophia. Modern Instabilité: Youth and Employment in France and China. March 2017.

Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Embracing Instability – Spain. February 2017.

Kelvin, Sera. The Stability in Expecting Emotional Instability: Brazil. April 2017.

Konbaz, Rahaf. The Castaways: On the Verge of Life – Syria. August 2017.

Korneeva, Ekaterina. Instability… or Flexibility? July 2017.

Kreutzer, Karina. Hidden Instabilität – Ecuador and Switzerland. December 2017.

Krnceska, Sofija. Decades of Economic Instability – Macedonia. September 2017.

Kutscher, Karin. Inestabilidad in Interpersonal Relationships – Chile. October 2017.

Larousse, Annabelle. Legal and Emotional Instability in a Transgender Life – Ireland. August 2017.

Larrosa, Mariela. The Very Stable Spanish Instability. April 2017.

Lobos, José. Political Instability: Guatemala. May 2017.

Lozano, Gabriela. Estructuras Inestables: Vignettes of a Contemporary, Not Quite Collapsing Country – Mexico. November 2017.

MacSweeny, Michael. A House on a Hill – America. October 2017.

Mankevich, Tatiana. The Absence of Linguistic Cтабiльнасць: Does the Belarusian Language Have a Future? December 2016.

McGuiness, Matthew. Loving Lady Instability. November 2017.

Meschi, Isabelle. Linguistic Instabilité and Instabilità: France and Italy. November 2016.

Mitra, Ashutosh. The Instability of Change: India. January 2016.

Moussly, Sahar. The Instability of Tyranny: Syria and the Syrian Diaspora. December 2016.

Nastou, Eliza. Psychological Αστάθεια and Inestabilidad during the Economic Crisis: Greece and Spain. December 2016.

Nevosadova, Jirina. Whatever Happens, It Is Experience. May 2017.

Olisthoughts. Stable Instability – Moldova. October 2017.

Partykowska, Natalia. Niestabilność and адсутнасць стабільнасці in the Arts: Polish and Belarusian Theater. January 2017.

Payan, Rodrigo Arenas. Impotence – Venezuela and Columbia. September 2017.

Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.

Pranevich, Liubou. Cultural Instability: Belarus and Poland. March 2017.

Protić, Aleksandar. Demographic Instability: Serbia. July 2017.

Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016.

Sekulić, Jelena. Нестабилност/Nestabilnost in Language – Serbia. August 2017.

Sepa, Andreea. Instabilitate vs. Stabilität: How Important Are Cultural Differences? – Romania and Germany. September 2017.

Shunit. Economic Instability: Guinea and Gambia. April 2017.

Shalunova, Marina. Language Instability: Russia. June 2017

Sitorus, Rina. Instabilitas Toleransi: Indonesia. May 2017.

Skrypka, Vladyslav. National нестійкість: Ukraine. July 2017.

Staniulis, Justas. Nestabilumas of Gediminas Hill and the Threat to the Symbol of the State: Lithuania. July 2017.

Sousa, Antonia. Social and Economic Instabilidade: Portugal. January 2017.

Vuka. My Intimate Imbalanced Inclination. March 2017.

Walton, Éva. Historical and Psychological Bizonytalanság within Hungarian Culture. January 2017.

Yücel, Sabahattin. The Instability of Turkish Education and its Effect on Culture and Language: Turkey. July 2017.

Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.

Zakharova, Anastasiya. Instability in Relationships: Russia. April 2017.

To follow:

Last weekly Emblem of Instability (there will be specials next year from time to time)

Start of the  Codex of Uncertainty in 2018: Venezuela, Saudi-Arabia, Cuba, Chile, Uruguay, France, Spain, Egypt, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom

Further reading

Azazeal, Alex. Отражение Spiegelt Reflection. 2014.

Friedrich, Angelika. The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.

Friedrich, Angelika. Sub-Under-U-метро-Bahn-Ground-Way. 2014.

Gergiev, Vladimir. Street – Straße – Улица. 2014

Metivier, Anthony. Kunstart. 2014.

Smirnov, Yuri. Art de streetулица. 2013.

Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem – Junk Culture – Müll Trashed Мусор (Part I). August 2016.

Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem – Junk Culture – Müll Trashed Мусор (Part II). August 2016.

Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem – Junk Culture – Müll Trashed Мусор (Part III). September 2016.

Whittlesey, Henry. Forward to Next Transposing Emblem. January 2016.

Whittlesey, Henry. Changes to Transposing Emblems. November 2015.

Whittlesey, Henry. Excerpt of new emblem transpoзиция on trash. September 2015.

Whittlesey, Henry. Müll trashed мусор. 2013

Visit for more information about transposition.

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