Film
Still from Scenes from a Dry City.

Watch this Evocative South African Documentary 'Scenes from a Dry City'

The 12-minute short film highlights the water crisis in the city of Cape Town.

The racial divide between those living in the poor township of Khayelitsha to the affluent beach-side suburb of Clifton is growing wider. Stringent water restrictions on those who've always had water have almost leveled the playing field with those who've always lacked it. A persistent drought, dangerously low dam levels and the ever-present threat of taps running completely dry, are just some of the poignant scenes depicted in Scenes of a Dry City.


Veteran South African documentary filmmakers Francois Verster and Simon Wood teamed up with Academy Award-winning producer Laura Poitras to create a deeply moving and reflective piece of protest cinema.

Cape Town has been struggling with dwindling water sources for years now. Insufficient rains, near-empty dam levels and the looming 'Day Zero' are the daily realities of its residents. What is interesting, however, is how the crisis and subsequent attempts to privatize water have affected its residents differently.

Still from Scenes from a Dry City

Scenes from a Dry City explores the Cape Town water crisis from different societal perspectives. From illegal car washers, religious groups in protest of water privatization to golfers on lush green courses who are completely oblivious to the water crisis as a whole.

In their press release, Verster and Wood say:

"There had been a slate of journalistic films about the impact of the water crisis in Cape Town. We wanted to make a film that attempted instead, perhaps in a very tenuous way, to inhabit the perspective of water itself, its ultimate indifference to what is happening in the city, and thereby to try assess some of the deeper existential dimensions involved in the debate."

Still from Scenes from a Dry City

The documentary has been described by the International Documentary Film Festival as "a film that is as visually stunning as it is urgent".

Watch the documentary below:


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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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