Twilight Spaces: A Boy in Time

Filmmaker:  Ishmael Achirri Chi-Bikom

Year of production: 2003
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Duration: 41 minutes.
Sound: mono
English Subtitles

In South Africa, like elsewhere in the developing world, there are a handful of children who run away from their parental homes into the inner cities, or to other cities altogether.

They run away for different reasons, among which parental separation, misunderstandings, poverty, and sometimes, abuse. They also run away because they are attracted by the urban city life and its architecture: the possibilties for recreation, hustling and finding part-time work in the
Most of the youth from the townships in South Africa know about the existence of youth shelters in the cities where they can live, play, and attend school, that is, if the streets turn out to be tough.

After running away by train from home in Soweto, Johannesburg, Siya ends up in Pretoria, a place he likes, and where he gets admitted into Itumeleng Child Welfare Shelter. Sometimes life at the shelter is nice, and sometimes, it’s not so nice. But the shelter gives him space, at least, to rediscover himself.

Copyright: 2003 Visual Cultural Studies, University of Tromsø

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