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Dylan Whale

Babies becoming ancestors

Babies becoming ancestors

Regular price R 700.00 ZAR
Regular price Sale price R 700.00 ZAR
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*All proceeds from the SOLIDARITY WITH GAZA series will go to Gift of the Givers and other aid organisations offering humanitarian support in Gaza.


The most dangerous place to be a child in the world today is Gaza. I recently read an article by Nicholas Kristof in which he reflects on how UNICEF’s recent report shows that twice as many children have died in Gaza than all the conflicts worldwide in 2022.

How strange to have babies turning to ancestors. That feels so upside down and dizzying. To have babies only live in this world within a short shimmer, and then lost under rubble and politics.

In South Africa, many people believe the ancestors dwell in the ocean. That after death our soul travels through the groundwater and into the sea, to be reunited with our grandmothers. We (@empatheatre) made a film about it.

I spent five years in the films making, contemplating ancestors in the sea. Over the last few months, the Palestinian freedom chant, the refrain: “from the river to the sea” turns over and over in my body, like a tide shifting with the pull of the moon, and our collective subconscious.

Is this not also a slogan our ancestors are singing from the depths?

I day dream and hope those thousands of children are with their grandmothers cradled in seaweed blankets and soothed with song. Making beauty with their tiny hands and helping coral grow.

I can’t help but imagine them reaching to us from the other side, and showing us new ways to listen and be attentive to what is happening to us as a society.

From river to the ancestral sea, may all children, martyrs and the living, be free.

Mixed-Media archival print

Hahnemühle Fibre Matte Paper

300mm x 300mm

*Available for Pre-order


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