THE CASSPIR PROJECT
An unprecedented undertaking comprised of multi-faceted installation, photography, oral history, and documentary.
Anyone who has spent time in South Africa in the 1980’s shares some history with the Casspir; it is as familiar as the smell of tear gas and burning tires.
Nothing said “police intimidation” like the smell of diesel fuel and the roar of the 165 horsepower engine. Nothing was as potent as seeing one of these ironclad beasts flying through narrow township streets at 90 km/h. Ziman elected to leave South Africa in 1981 and has lived in the United States for 30 years.
“I remember columns of Casspirs, ten or fifteen, heading for the East Rand Townships of Daveyton and Katlehong,” Ziman says. “Heavily armed paramilitary police sitting casually on the roofs brandishing automatic weapons. I remember Casspirs flying at high speeds down the narrow, potholed streets of Soweto. I remember how the South African police would park two Casspirs in the road to form a blockade, forcing drivers to slow into an S-shaped route for tense inspection.”
The “Casspir” series, captured in Kliptown, South Africa is a cinematic portrayal of the Casspir vehicle in stunning and terrifying use. This series of photographs also feature the regalia textiles and the AK-47 beaded sculpture.
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.
The textiles of the Casspir Project showcase the work produced by a network of artisans that developed into the colaborative backbone of the project.