South Africa is a complex society shaped out of disruptive histories; including colonialism and apartheid. The photographs represented here are a snapshot from a larger corpus of work, developed while researching for a book on South African photography. And therefore reflect a combination of informed and intuitive trains of thought. They are a factual record of rural and urban terrain on the
Highveld and Cape and personal memo. In particular they reflect a reaction to certain landscapes and those who have or do inhabit them. Social, cultural and political signs are intrinsic; but are a priori theoretical and anthropological by-product.
The photographs in 2016 were made during countrywide local elections whereas in 2017 President Zuma is in the spotlight. In 2018 and 2019 ongoing township and student unrest are in the news.
The landscape is a focus in David Goldblatt’s colour photography project Intersections, pictures taken between 1999 and 2005. In an interview with Mark Haworth-Booth on the project Goldblatt provides insight into how he is looking at the land, he explains: ‘Primary is the land, its division, possession, use, misuse. How we have shaped it and how it has shaped us’. 1
As a matter of course these are similar and logical aspirations within this body of work although inevitably different in nature and vision.
1. Interview with David Golblatt by Mark Haworth-Booth, London/Johannesburg, April 2005, David Goldblatt, Intersections, Prestel Verlag, 2005, P.99