Interactive Installation in the Red Light District – Amsterdam

Made by: Lilia Pérez (Mexico / Amsterdam) and Doung Anwar Jahangeer (Mauritius/ ZA).
Developed in the context of The Media City Workshop.

Produced with the support of: Time_Frame and the Netherlands Institute for Media Art.
Duration of video documentation: 2min 17 secs.

This work departed from footage filmed in a busy Durban market.  Through the use of infrared sensors and a software application a real time edition of the video was made in such a way that whenever a spectator approached to observe it, a recorded character also stopped his/her on going transition through the market and looked back at the viewer.
Conceptually investigating the idea that people in space make place, ‘Sawubona’ roots itself in the Ubuntu ” umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” , a zulu humanist philosophy meaning that ‘a person is a person through other persons’. The work is a critique on the rampant global-capitalist dehumanising tendencies of city making. It offers its audience an opportunity to re-discover the one in the other .
Choosing to be in the RedLight District is a comment on how space becomes conditioned and on the commodification of the ‘being human’.
The intention of the work is that of an exposure of an existing parallel reality and hopefully to create a shift in the viewer’s minds towards the way we perceive the other.
Lou Reed puts it nicely “…you are my mirror , reflect what i am….”.

View interviews and documentation about Sawubona: