The Casspir Project charts the locus of the South African military vehicle’s legacy of institutional oppression — a legacy with which we are still reckoning. The central element of the project is one of reclamation. The restored and refitted Casspir vehicle, its surfaces fully covered in elaborate, brightly-colored panels of glass beadwork, arrayed in traditional patterns was completed by artisans from Zimbabwe and the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, including women of the Ndebele tribe, known for their craftsmanship.
These cinematic photographs and sculptures are at once a haunting and beautiful juxtaposition of bones and beadwork. Ziman’s bold and powerful imagery for Bones aims to challenge the status of trophy hunting in South Africa and bring awareness to a trade that profits from the unabashed killing of endangered animals.
The UN estimates that there are more than five hundred million small arms in circulation around the world. More than seventy million of those are estimated to be AK 47’s. Ninety percent of all casualties in wars around the world are caused by small arms. Eighty percent of those killed are civilians.
This is the inspiration for the work “Ghosts” — to capture the unseen traffickers and the nameless, faceless people who are killed.
PHOTO LONDON DIGITAL
Ralph Ziman joined in conversation with British television executive and presenter Alan Yentob at Ziman’s studio on October 11, 2020 on Instagram live.