Project Global: Ground

This exploration of our current day metropolitan condition as a system of systems deals with the crust of the Earth as a primary carrying capacitor of human activities, from the extraction of resources deep within the ground, to agricultural operations that barely scratch the surface.

Part 1: Lexicon

Part 2: Atlas

Part 3: Architectural Projects

Part 1: Lexicon index

︎ Formation

    ︎ Kaapvaal Craton
    ︎ Johannesburg Dome
    ︎ Vredefort Dome
    ︎ Topsoil
    ︎ Müggelsee

︎ Measurement    ︎ Schwerbelastungskörper
    ︎ Mining Earthquakes
    ︎ Low-tech Soil Testing
    ︎ Soil Texture Triangle
    ︎ Geologic Time Scale 
    ︎ Stratigraphic Colum
    ︎ Geographic Information System
    ︎ Ecotone
    ︎ Cultural Landscape

︎ Prototype
    ︎ Unter den Linden
    ︎ Zoological Landscape
    ︎ Counterculture
    ︎ Cultural Agency
    ︎ Mine-pit Lakes
    ︎ Parliament of Things

︎ Land distribution
    ︎ 1913 Natives Land Act
    ︎ District Six
    ︎ Eavesdropping
    ︎ Reconciliation Policy
    ︎ Land Grabbing
    ︎ Land Acting
    ︎ The Red Ants
    ︎ #PutSouthAfricansFirst
    ︎ Suburban Enclaves
    ︎ Parallel State

︎ Extraction
    ︎ Cullinan Diamond Mine
    ︎ Platinum Group Metals
    ︎ Zamazamas
    ︎ Gold Rush Inertia
    ︎ Sinkhole
    ︎ Maize Doctor
    ︎ Coal Hands

︎ Infrastructure
    ︎ Gautrain
    ︎ Le-guba
    ︎ Lesotho Water Project
    ︎ Deutscher Wald
    ︎ Arrival City

︎ Production
    ︎ Safari Economy
    ︎ Agritourism
    ︎ Rainfall Line
    ︎ Upington Airport
    ︎ Tiergarten Transformation
    ︎ Pivot Irrigation
    ︎ Allotment Garden
    ︎ Bokoni Terracing
    ︎ Johannesburg Forestation
    ︎ Game Farming Cycle

︎ Waste
    ︎ Trümmerberg
    ︎ Fab-Soil
    ︎ Mining Waste Belt
    ︎ Sanitary Landfilling
    ︎ Soil Structure
    ︎ Biogas Technology

︎ Pollution
    ︎ Dry Stacked Tailings
    ︎ Water Pollution
    ︎ Soil Pollution
    ︎ Uranium Sandstorms
    ︎ Poaching

︎ Remediation
    ︎ European Green Belt
    ︎ Conservation Agriculture
    ︎ Airfield Urbanism
    ︎ Solar Park
    ︎ Gold Reef City
    ︎ Mine Pit Lake
    ︎ Loess Plateau
    ︎ Erosion Control


“ ⁠— ”

Zama zamas - which means “strive and strive” in IsiZulu - is a term given to the 30,000 informal miners in South Africa who scour for the remaining metal deposits in the more than 200 gold mines that had been closed and abandoned at the end of the 20th century, when large-scale gold mining became unprofitable for corporations in South Africa due to the investments required to dig deeper.
        The Zama zama community - an assemblage of miners, buyers and sellers with their own internal hierarchy and rules - is mostly composed of migrant African workers. Its ethnic variety has been an important factor in strengthening allegiances between smaller communities of shared backgrounds that look out for each other by enforcing pre-entry safety procedures, and sharing equipment and food as they fight for increased accessibility to mining resources.
        The dimensions of many abandoned mines are large enough to accommodate numerous groups simultaneously, enabling more than 2,000 artisan workers to be work at once. The combination of unsanctioned mining operations with the Zama zama’s self-regulatory organization has occasionally led to unclear boundaries of ‘ownership’ claims to mines, oftentimes resulting in violent conflicts between the different factions. Consequently, the Zama zamas have been publicly portrayed negatively and the victim of increased police interventions in the mines.1

Image source:  Media, Lucas Ledwaba for Mukurukuru. ‘Maverick Citizen: Photo Essay: Zama-Zamas: Pictures from the Underground’. Daily Maverick, 4 February 2020.

1.   Media, Lucas Ledwaba for Mukurukuru. ‘Maverick Citizen: Photo Essay: Zama-Zamas: Pictures from the Underground’. Daily Maverick, 4 February 2020.