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Video

Breather’s Night

My father takes me to the top of the Carlton tower. The tallest building in the world – if measured from the depth of the world’s deepest mine shaft. Below me the city is written in the shape of his pelvis. My father tells me, this is your inheritance. See the towering blades of the office block and its extermination lists. I will teach you the alchemy of turning lead into gold, people into bread. He says, Throw yourself down. Trust me. I’ll give my workers charge over you, and, in their hands they’ll bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone...

An excerpt from the latest in the Chimurenganyana series The Breather’s, a collaborative long poem by Stacy Hardy & Daniel Borzutzky. The Breathers is an attempt to experiment with ways to document both the suppression of breath caused by capitalism, and the liberation of breath, or, the mere act of breathing as a form of political resistance to those forces that confront our bodies with what cannot be said, what cannot be seen, and what cannot be done.

Performed live at the factory, authors, Hardy & Borzutzky, with Fred Schmalz and Bongani Kona in a radio-play like reading of The Breather’s takes us through the Appalachian trails and deep down the subterranean shafts of the South African mines. Fleshing out the visceral, sensory and emotional space of breathe in lives of love and resistance.


To purchase The Breather’s in print visit the Chimurenga Factory (157 Victoria Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town) or order from our online store.

This article and other work by Chimurenga are produced through the kind support of our readers. Please visit our donation page to support our work.

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