Three South African photographers are going on a mission to feel the pulse of South Africa
For six months these three photographers will travel through South Africa in a campervan. From the Mother City to Musina. The City of Gold to Oudtshoorn, Garden Route to the Eastern Cape, and across the Kalahari and more, they will be meeting and interacting with the people that inhabit this country.
Their journey and experiences will be presented through an online visual journal consisting of audio, video and photography. These moments and stories will be open for all to see, share and follow through the website and social media platforms.
The culmination of this expedition, using select material from the visual journal, will result in an exhibition accompanied by a catalogue.
The exhibition is scheduled for January 2015 at Commune1 gallery in 64 Wale Street, Cape Town.
" The problem of personal identity arises from the beliefs that we can change in many ways throughout our lives and that these changes happen to the same person. But if we change, we're different. So how is it possible for a person to change yet remain the same ? "
Performing Arts, Photography2014
I’ve been wondering for a long-time why my family has always struggled to make ends meet. I remember asking my grandmother this question. She responded filled with shame and disappointment and explained “During the Apartheid time, your grandfather went to Cape Town to work. He used to visit us once a year back at our home in the Eastern Cape during the Christmas holiday and he sent money on a monthly basis. That continued for at least four years.” I asked what happened after four years. He stopped sending money and sometimes would not come home during the Christmas holidays. By that time my grandmother had four children and my grandfather had a new family in Cape Town.
Recently I began to wonder how many other families had to suffer because of the Apartheid pass laws. I noticed in my neighbourhood that there are old men living alone rather than with their families. I decided to talk to them and saw this as an opportunity to make peace with my family’s history. To my surprise these old men are still working and sending money back to their homes in the Eastern Cape. What gets to me the most about these men is the fact that after 20 years of democracy they are still living according to Apartheid era pass laws even though they have the choice to live with their families.
In my conversations I realised that these man feel “forced” to live alone so that they will satisfy the patriarchal role of sending money home. Their stories vary: some are living in the city alone for health issues; others because of access to a pension and still others because they prefer the freedom of living apart from their families. While what they do is a sacrifice, their loneliness is evident.
Langa (meaning “sun” in English) is a place rich with colours, textures and people. The camera however cannot be fooled,and also shows that Langa is a place with struggles as well as a sense of community, strength and perseverance that comes from living with hardship. Sometimes you are alone and sometimes you are surrounded with love.
Every neighbourhood has its own problems from time to time. I have lived in Langa for more than a decade. The place is beautiful; filled with flamboyant colours, dogs barking, cars beeping, the fresh smoke from the local shisa nyama and people walking down the street exchanging greetings and cigarettes.
With my interest in anthropology, Langa is both a research and a documentary project for me.
I invite you to experience the streets of my beloved township with a journey through my photography. This is an on-going project. One day I hope to combine everything I have photographed about Langa and put my story into one narrative.Photography2014
Everyday details of life in Langa township.Photography2014
This is an ongoing black and white film project I am doing in the townships around Cape Town.Photography2014
Two different townships.Photography2014
Boss was once a teacher in Langa. Due to dagga and being solitary he ended up having mental damage. He lost everything he possessed and eventually became a problem to himself and people around him.Photography2014
After Apartheid ended many black townships were left with nothing. It was hard to survive and jobs were scarce since many people in the township weren't educated. People had very few options. Some managed to find jobs as gardeners, maids for white people, working on mines, on construction sites or sweeping the streets. But these were jobs that never paid enough, especially if you are trying to raise a family with young children.
Langa Township, where I grew up, was one of those townships. The high levels of unemployment and the poverty led to violence and inequality in the community. As a young person I was witnessing it all right in front of me, even my neighbours had guns, knives and illegal weapons. Almost every teenager during early 2000 was part of gangsterism in some way or was in prison for some crime they committed. Friday & Saturday nights murders were the norm. It was not a safe township.
As a young boy that time I had someone I look up to, unfortunately that someone happened to be a gangster. He had a big influence on me, the way I did things and the people I associated myself with. I started going out at night with them. I enjoyed it because someone I looked up to was enjoying that kind of life and I was not exposed to a better lifestyle that time. Years rolled on until late 2000 when things started to shift slowly because the people who were into gangsterism were facing 25+ years in prison or had died. People started to lay low, many people were not happy about what was happening but yet they couldn't do anything about it.
This photograph is the tribute to the Life of Violence in Langa. This photograph portrays some of Langa's history of crime and violence. The two boys enjoying the "gunplay " whilst that little girl is sobbing in anguish. You can tell she doesn't like it. This photograph is controversial because it's part of our history that we are not ready to own. I'm ready. I've seen it all yet there's no testimonial of it and this photograph tells it all. This is the evidence of Langa & it's crime .
I'm so proud to tell you all that Langa is safe and things have changed.