Wafer’s concern with a culture of intimidation in the South African Police Service is apparent in her etchings which visually reference John Vorster Square – the police station that embodied the violence of the apartheid system. Today, it is known as the Johannesburg Central Police Station.
Joburg Central Police Station is part of a series of etchings in which Wafer interrogates a culture of intimidation in the apartheid Police Service in addition to the perceived lack of social change in post-apartheid South Africa.
For the artist, the deteriorating façade of the police station signifies the collective trauma embedded in many of our urban spaces as a consequence of the brutality of daily life in South Africa. Her prints depict the menacing presence of the police station as a monument to systemic violence.
This etching was exhibited among Façade, Misregistered and Reflex Blue at DKP for a solo exhibition in 2015, titled Ninth Floor. All exhibited works explore police brutality and the structures that sustain it. Through these prints, Wafer hopes to suggest that order and chaos are not so far apart.