Economic apartheid in South Africa

Posted 09 May 2010 — by davidc_7IF
Category Alternative visuals

From the New York Times Lens blog comes this collection of photographs from Per-Anders Pettersson, detailing what he describes as “economic apartheid” in South Africa. Pettersson’s photographs offer a range of people and situations not frequently seen, some of which intersect with Joan Bardeletti’s great project on the middle classes in Africa.

Oscar Dube, who works for a mobile phone company and equipment maker, takes a dip in Johannesburg, March 25, 2002.

Like hundreds of other foreign journalists, Per-Anders Pettersson traveled to South Africa in 1994 to photograph the country’s general election. Unlike the others, he came back to stay…His project “In Transition” documents varied lives in a society that is still evolving. “They thought it would change overnight and it has not,” Mr. Pettersson said by telephone from Cape Town. “It’s changing now, slowly.”

See the full gallery of these images at

How to photograph without “enhancing the poverty”

Posted 05 May 2010 — by davidc_7IF
Category Alternative visuals

The South African photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa has a new book, and some of the photos with his narration can be seen in a slideshow on the Mail and Guardian’s web site.

In it he makes any interesting statements, including that “it is so easy to make poverty beautiful, so easy to idealise things” and that black and white “enhances the poverty.” In contrast, he favours colour and the interest it gives to a situation. He is also overt about the collaborative process through which he records his sitters, with the resultant portraits being political.