Almost three decades have passed since South Africa became a democracy, yet the history and legacy of Apartheid continues to have an effect on Black and Brown bodies. Exclusions from ocean spaces and education through various racist laws still have a hauntological impact on all who inhabit the country. The act of sharing our stories as we stitch our hydro-rugs is how we collectively heal from our traumatic past through embodied, processual knowledge-making practices.
Aaniyah Martin has been registered as a doctoral student with the Environmental Learning Research Centre at Rhodes University and her research practices have included strandlooping (beach walking), swimming, kayaking along the False Bay coastline from Cape Point to Hangklip. Furthermore, she is collectively mending a social sculpture entitled the Hydro-rug and engaging in citizen-led public storytelling around invisible and erased histories and relationships local South Africans have with the ocean, with the explicit aim to surface new care practices related to the ocean. Aaniyah will invite people to share their stories with her while simultaneously creating and sewing a collective hydro-rug, a patchwork quilt of all the stories of people, land and sea.