Silver 2015 / People / Culture (Non-Pro)

Greetings from Suburbs

  • Prizes
    Silver in People/Culture
  • Photographer
    Enrico Doria

South Africa came out of the apartheid regime twenty years ago, but, perhaps as you might expect, there are still many inequalities and the aftermath of racism that can be observed daily. The townships are a legacy of apartheid, are those urban areas adjacent to metropolitan areas in which exclusively non-white citizens are living ... Even today the townships welcome hundreds of thousands of black citizens are often living in precarious and difficult conditions. Some townships are so extensive that it is very difficult to grasp with a glance across the vastness of the settlement. Moreover, to the original situation is added the reality of 'squatters', newcomer people occupying shacks at the side edges of the settlement, driven here from the poorest regions of the country and the subcontinent. Life in many townships developed around large cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban is very insecure: the huge amount of unemployed people promotes violent crime and there is, therefore, a state of perpetual tension and self-defense, although often emphasized by the media. Of course the townships are certainly not the only representative image of South Africa today: rich and expanding country in which the black population progress in the social scale. However, the result of many years of racist policy is still evident, so the townships are still given a strong sense of marginalization: it is very difficult to see the whites just stop in these areas. With this photographic work I tried to tell, through the eyes and flashes of daily life, the pride of an identity that is reflected in a cohesive and colourful community. Despite the economic possibilities that would push for a life away from the suburban reality, many people choose to continue living in the townships who raised them. Life here, however, is always the struggle against violence, poverty, against the cold or hellishly hot…but also against prejudice and marginalization. My images, however, do not want to talk only about this ... would not be enough. They depict faces and people, often in their homes or, more intimately, in the bedrooms, where a welcoming gesture, accompanied by a proud look, perhaps still represent the most genuine and pure aspects of the townships.