In the late winter of 2014, I visited South Africa for two weeks. I went at the invitation of my friend Billy Keniston, who was there promoting his new book, Choosing To Be Free: A Life Story of Rick Turner. The tour took us to Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, and to bookshops, classrooms, labor unions, and counter-culture social centers. I had never been to South Africa before, and one of the things that struck me the hardest while there was what seemed to me to be an absolute obsession with security. Some of this infatuation likely comes from experience, South Africa has a recent history of extremely high levels of street crime and home invasions. But some of it also clearly stems from the history of white supremacy, apartheid, and intense inequality that still plagues the country and its people’s relationships.
One of the most ubiquitous visual aspects of this security culture is a preponderance of signage advertising protection, safety, and extremely violent consequences for any criminal transgressions. As part of processing my experience when I returned home, I began redrawing dozens of these security signs by hand. I ended up producing a limited edition artist book that weaved together excerpts from my journal, these sign drawings, and pieces of South African fabric. One of the side-effects of that book project was twenty extra sets of these screenprints of my security sign drawings.
I’ve collected the screenprints here—along with the text from the original book, pulled from my journals—for this new issue of Pound the Pavement. Since Pound the Pavement has largely been a zine that has doubled as a place for me to work out my twin obsessions of collecting and organizing things, this set of prints seems appropriate to include as an installment.