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Farewell to the Railway Stations

Farewell to the Railway Stations

Personal message

For many years as a student in the 1970's I travelled the passenger trains from Springs to Randfontein and became familiar with their platforms, their antiquated segregated amenities, and carriages and the way they underpinned the eastern and western reefs of gold, without which there would be no Gauteng and Bezuidenhout's Farm might still be raising cattle. Kensington, Gauteng

My fundraising need is to commemorate the railway line which spanned the gold deposits and reflect on its now be-nighted circumstances. 

Their original raison d'etre was to ferry ultra exploitable labour to the Witwatersrand from neighbouring territories and return many home often maimed and suffering from silicosis.

It is not with a sense of nostalgia that we should remember the 'Night Trains' which Charles Van Onselen describes so well, but I can't resist the the current aesthetics of entropy as I remember my parents picking me up from Springs' station. They were never places of beauty and some, like Dunswart resembled Hades. Now. almost all are derelict. 

I am the beneficiary and wish to stage an exhibition of the present state of this railway line and its platforms.

Over the past three years I have re-visited these stations and have witnessed and photographed their absolute decline which has coincided with the pandemic and the demise of Prasa. 

In the absence of passengers and the vexation of disputed security contracts, overhead cable theft was the first casualty, followed by corrugated roofing, doors, windows and ablution fittings. Later, cables were chiseled out of the walls and on less used lines even the rails were removed. Many of the buildings had been recently freshly painted in fashionable greys and blues and it is surprising how fast the de-industrialisation on of our infrastructure proceeded.

Currently a handful of branch lines still function, most connected to cement factories and other commercial enterprises.

Decay is never politically neutral but it is the textures and forms which interest me most and inspire this exhibition, and necessitate this fundraising project, for which I wish to raise money.

Ruins have a charm of their own and I hope your can transcend your rancour and appreciate their curious appeal. They chronicle the hollowing - out of the state and the erosion of transport opportunities for many commuters who relied on them. I believe it is important that people should reflect on our basic needs and see these images, lest we take refuge in notions of a fourth industrial revolution, while we are dismantling first and the second.

Donations

  • Dec 08, 2021 - R 2 000.00
  • "Entropy with compassion " - Patrick Cockayne

  • Dec 08, 2021 - R 265.00
  • "Thank you for this, Dave " - Carol

  • Dec 08, 2021 - USD $ 31.55
  • "Good luck!" - Duncan A

  • Dec 08, 2021 - USD $ 31.55
  • "Fab that you are getting this together David. Should do a tone poem with the images and your writing too. Happy to help. " - Lloyd

  • Dec 08, 2021 - R 300.00
  • "if life is like a train ride, what is life in south africa today?" - andrew worsdale

  • Dec 08, 2021 - R 250.00
  • "An essential exhibition. A dozen corporate executives dressed in orange would, in an ethical world, be VIP attendees" - Herby

  • Dec 07, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "we're so happy to see you doing this!" - Victor & Peta-Anne

  • Dec 07, 2021 - USD $ 50.00
  • "Thanks for doing this important work David." - Bruno Morphet

  • Dec 07, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Your pics are some of the best I have seen in social documentary." - Melanie Low

  • Dec 06, 2021 - USD $ 75.00
  • "Hi Dave, Great to see you still going strong! " - Theo Duchen

  • Dec 06, 2021 - R 300.00
  • "'Break a leg'" - Alan

  • Dec 06, 2021 - R 200.00
  • "Wonderful photos thank you!" - Robyn

  • Dec 06, 2021 - USD $ 75.00
  • "Best of luck Dave" - Dave Leibowitz

  • Dec 06, 2021 - R 100.00
  • "Best of luck Dave x" - Diane Stewart

  • Dec 06, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Great eye Dave." - KP Smith

  • Dec 06, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Thanks for making it possible to see my city the way it is." - Roger

  • Dec 05, 2021 - USD $ 61.97
  • "Love your powerful work" - Steven Stein

  • Dec 04, 2021 - USD $ 75.00
  • "Would love to see this happen" - Alex Hollmann

  • Nov 29, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Beautiful if tragic pictures. Your work needs to be shared." - Lynn Adler Brown

  • Nov 26, 2021 - USD $ 61.97
  • "Good luck" - Micha Ramsay

  • Nov 26, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "I can't wait!" - Ali

  • Nov 26, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Thank you for your vision." - Maren

  • Nov 25, 2021 - USD $ 62.96
  • "Wonderful photos. " - David Mansell

  • Nov 25, 2021 - R 200.00
  • "Been admiring your work via Facebook " - Peter P

  • Nov 25, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "beautifully tragic" - Hannah

  • Nov 25, 2021 - R 300.00
  • "Sarah - Not Herman Mashaba. ;-D" - Sarah

  • Nov 25, 2021 - USD $ 26.72
  • "Good luck and thank you for sharing your wonderful work" - Sian Colley

  • Nov 23, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Hope the campaign and exhibition reach the terminus" - Isabel

  • Nov 23, 2021 - USD $ 252.24
  • "Thank you Dave for all your work" - Shane Ginsberg

  • Nov 22, 2021 - USD $ 31.78
  • "Thanks for the pics" - Stan James

  • Nov 21, 2021 - R 1 000.00
  • "Extraordinary work!" - Dot Feast

  • Nov 20, 2021 - R 200.00
  • "Well done David " - Roddy Payne

  • Nov 20, 2021 - USD $ 63.59
  • "Looking forward to your exhibition." - Dev

  • Nov 20, 2021 - R 1 000.00
  • "Best wishes for this venture! " - Krumm Jenny

  • Nov 20, 2021 - R 500.00
  • ". " - Martin

  • Nov 19, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Best wishes with this venture" - Robert

  • Nov 19, 2021 - USD $ 31.95
  • "Good luck! Your pictures deserve to be seen" - Richard

  • Nov 19, 2021 - R 500.00
  • "Wise chronicler. " - Fern

  • Nov 19, 2021 - R 400.00
  • "Thank you for your amazing work! " - Lydia

  • Nov 19, 2021 - R 200.00
  • "Good luck" - Linda

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Statistics

Donations to date

R 27 549.81

Fundraising target

R 80 000.00
Donate

David Edwards Support Cause

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For many years as a student in the 1970's I travelled the passenger trains from Springs to Randfontein and became familiar with their platforms, their antiquated segregated amenities, and carriages and the way they underpinned the eastern and western reefs of gold, without which there would be no Gauteng and Bezuidenhout's Farm might still be raising cattle. Kensington, Gauteng

My fundraising need is to commemorate the railway line which spanned the gold deposits and reflect on its now be-nighted circumstances.


Decay is never politically neutral but it is the textures and forms which interest me most and inspire this exhibition, and necessitate this fundraising project, for which I wish to raise money.