Sea Change Project Presents
Stories of the Great African Seaforest
Life wasn’t always easy for Dalfrenzo Laing. His family struggled to make ends meet, he dabbled in drugs, took on menial work, and often felt hopeless. But a chance meeting and a deep love of nature transformed his life, and he now spends his days armed with binoculars and an encyclopaedic knowledge of marine and terrestrial life, living with passion and purpose.
We were all forged in the great crucible of the African continent. We are all African by nature, having spent 80 percent of our time as a species here, living in deep reciprocity with nature, each footfall an echo of all animals and insects, plants and oceans.
The Great African Seaforest is home to thousands of species, some that have not yet even been scientifically named and every time you set foot in the kelp forest you are opening yourself up for an experience that you cannot predict.
You can see it when you stand on the shore around Cape Town: the Great African Seaforest. What you see is a narrow stretch of floating Bamboo kelp (Ecklonia maxima). It is one of the few kelp species in the world that grows to the surface at low tide. But what you see at the top is just the tip of the iceberg!
When we originally formed SCP it was a way for us to produce the occasional creative project while immersing ourselves in the kelp forests which we named the Great African Seaforest. As a group we realised that by giving our kelp forests a name we were giving it an unique identity and a presence that connected it to the kelp forests of the world, but also distinguished it as a particular ecosystem found on the shores of Southern Africa.
Some years ago, I was kayaking and swimming along a rugged part of Cape Town’s coast. The sun blazed overhead, the sea frothed against rocks, and behind a stand of kelp, I discovered a cave. Battling against a strong surge, I timed my entry, and crawled into a dark, cool world ripe with the smell of salt and primordial plant life. I ventured further into the cave, and there it was: a full human skeleton lying sprawled on the rock-littered floor.