|Sig Story Series|
3 Sigs. 12 days in South Africa. A single goal of documenting Cape Town’s post-apartheid legacy through a series of multimedia stories.
Over winter break, I had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa with David Doochin T’15 and Nicholas Byrne T’15 to explore the long-standing divisions between white and black, between wealthy and impoverished, and between inspired and frustrated. Through a combination of serendipitous encounters and structured interviews, the three of us dove into an exploration of the impacts of segregation, and the shadow it casts on an otherwise heavenly city. From speaking with Denis Goldberg, who was sentenced to four life sentences during the anti-apartheid movement and served 22 years in prison alongside Nelson Mandela, to homeless Capetonians trying to survive in a city that “treats (them) like animals,” we met people struggling to push the city forward and to tear down the barriers that have existed for generations.
Although hearing the stories of activists, musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs was fascinating, working with David and Nicholas was the highlight of the trip. From Nicholas’ unreal film and photography skills, to David’s knack for knowing which questions to ask to draw out the most crucial parts of a story, working with them was not only a learning experience, but also a chance for me to become awed by those I call my brothers. In many ways, this has been one of the dominant themes of my experience in Sigma Phi. Whether it was my big (Michael Thornburg T’13) putting on a rap show in Chapel Hill and crowd surfing, or Jacob Rosenberg T’13 getting his powerful story on the death penalty picked up by the New York Times, Sigma Phi brothers constantly find ways to amaze and inspire. In many ways, people in Sigma Phi helped me, David, and Nicholas realize that pursuing cool and challenging experiences is what makes something memorable. Without Sigma Phi, we most likely wouldn’t have had a platform to grow together and pursue the project in the way we did. Most importantly, however, we get to keep working on it in the new UNC Sigma Phi house throughout the semester. Follow along for our weekly releases at www.edgescapetown.org!
Sami Lachgar T'15