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Descansos in Dimbaza: Buntu Fihla's murals and bantustan memory

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‘Inyeke kaSebe / Sebe’s Lip’. Pigment Print on Photo Fiba.  2011. (Buntu Fihla)
‘Inyeke kaSebe / Sebe’s Lip’. Pigment Print on Photo Fiba. 2011. (Buntu Fihla)

Last Grave at Dimbaza is a 1974 documentary shot clandestinely by a group consisting of South African exiles and British film students, and was to become one of the most influential films about the functions and mechanisms of Apartheid. The film’s producer, Nana Mahomo, says she wanted "to show what it is like for the black people of South Africa to be on the receiving end of the white government's apartheid policy".

In one scene, the camera pans across three bright-eyed, brown babies; hair emaciated and breaking, bellies distended with the tell-tale signs of malnutrition. The camera continues its movement over arid, infertile ground. Plants wilt and wither. Hands scratch at the earth for a root, a seed.

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