Slow Violence


This article will discuss the horrors of slow violence inflicted on the environment by things we tend to overlook -acting as gestures of violence that we rather identify with as pity and consequence as our failing result to maintain global sustainability. With reference to Nixon (2011), I will uncover how slow violence has been inflicted on environmental issues in South Africa as well as things we often over look in our daily lives that could also be seen as acts of violence.

Nixon’s view on slow violence does not necessarily mean it’s a first-hand experience but rather, ‘violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space’, but violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all. Typically ‘Violence is customarily conceived as an event or action that is immediate in time, explosive and spectacular in space’, however important environmental issues such as toxic build-up, massing greenhouse gases, and accelerated species loss due to ongoing environmental disruption are also seen as acts of violence effecting the world and its people over time. For more ways of viewing what acts we commit to effect the earth click on the provided Link.



”Photo of the waste outside Malbro towmship”

“By slow violence I mean a violence that occurs gradually and out of sight” Nixon,(2011) As we see in this picture I took of the rubbish left to decompose in the Alexander township outskirts next to the Malbro train station- we are not directly aware on the implications this waste has to the future land or even future generations of this township. The waste is left to be exposed to young kids ,I often see playing in the streets. The waste will not going to bio-degrade in the next few years as a lot of the waste is harder plastics and glass, becoming a hazard to the kids causing disease and leaving the land baron, without cultivation and left as a landfall site.


Wasting water- Gushing flowMake-Brushing-Teeth-Fun-for-Your-Kids-5-size-3.jpg

”Photo of my friends sisters Misha and Tenielle brushing their teeth”

Unnecessary toilet flushes, extra-long shower time in the winter seasons, and putting the tap on just to heat up the water are all crimes we are familiar with. Something I do a lot is when I brush my teeth, I always turn the water on hot and leave it a while just to heat up my toothbrush right before a start the scrubbing starts. These few seconds of inconsideration result in gallons of accumulated water that has been wasted.


Killing beesHoneybees-Dying.jpg

”Photo of the dead bees on my classroom windowsill”

Ever noticed on a hot summer day when you have a few uninvited buzzing guests trying to get a drop of your cola, without even thinking we now take off our shoe and get rid of it without a thought. We justify that that bees are unsafe, will hurt our children and are just a nascence,however in all facts the ignorance of simply killing bees, has a larger impact than we think it does. In my visual arts building alone the pesticides kill on average 30 bees per day, this very weird phenomenon I’ve picked up after long hours spent doing all nighter practicals. At 4am the swarm of bees fly into the class,hovering over all the brightly lit lights then further dying an hour later outside, due to the presuming chemicals somewhere in the class. The class is thus left with easily hundreds of dead bees-leaving me thinking how great the effects ripple on the scheme of pollination around the surrounding campus areas.”Bee populations have dropped 30% per year since 2006”,becoming a problem as they are a vital key to food production because they pollinate crops. To find out more and sign the bee petition to get the government more involved in saving these important insects. Link.


Cell phone use & Wi-Fi unknown effectscell-phones-tracking-580.jpeg

”Photo of guests waiting for time to pass”

In the 21st Century it becomes a familiar sight to see friends, family and even strangers glued to their cell phones, engulfed in a cyber world where a message or phone call quickly over rules any conversation taking place in the presence. Unfortunately even if one isn’t involved in their technological devices first-hand the use of Wi-Fi has left the greater public connected at all time- all hours of the day. Manufactures have made these devices with safety warnings and set on average 3 hour a day use with a safety barrier of 30cm from your body to avoid radiation. The magnitude of technology overload is yet to be understood, and the replications on further generations has not yet been understood.The side effects of just Wi-Fi alone is very alarming,as it can negatively affect overall health and brain health, especially in children. For more information on the side effects of wi-fi and how to escape it, visit the Link.


Sources consulted:

Edwards.2015.10 Shocking Facts about the Health Dangers of Wi-Fi. [O] Available:

Accessed: 24 April 2016

Nixon, R. 2011. Slow violence and the environmentalism of the poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.



SOS-Bees. 2015. Role of the bee. [O] Available: http:

Accessed: 22 April 2016

Terri Coles. 2013.Earth Day 2013: 14 Surprising Things That Harm The Planet. [O] Available: 

Accessed: 22 April 2016








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s