Tirô - Work in Botswana
Work in Botswana is special. After independency in 1966 diamonds were discovered and Botswana became wealthy. The economy developed rapidly. Botswana is the country with the highest economic growth in Africa. A hyper-modern, mechanized world of work arises, which includes the extraction of diamonds and the metal processing industry. Large South African supermarket chains are spread all over the country. Alongside these modern, fast developing industries there are many small and individual enterprises, such as tailors, restaurants, catering kitchens, breweries, bars, car repair shops, hairdressers, market stalls and Tak-shops.
The largest employer in the country however, is the government: hospitals, schools, the army, police, government administration, a newspaper, television and radio.
In addition to paid work there exists a range of traditional work performed collectively and without pay. For example traditional cattle husbandry and rearing, traditional house building or the diverse preparations for weddings and funerals, which last for up to two weeks. On those occasions neighbours and relatives are working together and at the same time they supply the surrounding villagers with food.
The second major area of unpaid work is, of course, women's work at home and their rearing of children. Their work is provided free of charge, often in addition to the procurement of livelihood.
George Eustice - filmmaker and producer - and me wrote down this idea. We plan to cooperate with Tapong Visual Arts Centre Gaborone on an exhibition about work in Botswana.
15 artists and filmmakers are invited to develop a concept and make films in a workshop. The aim of the workshop is a video exhibition about the different kinds of works in Botswana which are on polar opposites of corporate industries and minor unpaid menial neighbourhood or familial work.
The purpose of the exhibition is to visualize the coexistence of diverse work environments in a prosperous African country that often remain invisible in everyday life.