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Graeme Williams Photography Born in 1961 in Cape Town, South Africa. Lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Manicurist, Nombuso Ntuli, waits for customers at the Chosen Beauty Salon. She is one of the tenants at a mini-shopping centre, but is too young to remember the violence of the early 1990’s, leading up to the country’s first democratic elections. In 1994 three men were killed at a tavern that used to operate from this location. Katlehong. East of Johannesburg.A torn tablecloth is cleaned and hung out to dry. Phutanang township, Kimberley.John Flaffie shows off his prison tattoos. White City township.A newly painted shack on a barren landscape. Intabazwe Township, Harrismith.Pheliswa Ngwane, unemployed, lays in the sun outside her house. Nduli township, Ceres.A newly painted shack on a barren landscape. Intabazwe Township, Harrismith.University student, Zain Shiba, relaxes against a tree near the Pretoria University campus. He is studying Social Work in the hope of helping people in his community. Pretoria.Elizabeth Liphalane wraps herself up against the cold. Boipatong township, Winburg.

Project Description

Since its first democratic elections in 1994, South Africa has been on an accelerated drive towards change. However, as the years have gone by, the realities and challenges of an evolving nation have emerged. It remains a juggling act to balance the challenges of a relatively new democratic dispensation with the country’s inherited apartheid past.

There remains an uneasy stasis as South African’s social and physical landscapes continue to shift. This state of flux is perpetuated by the mélange of real and perceived opposites; the present and the past, wealth and poverty, black and white, power and helplessness. The essay focuses on isolated, but telling facets of daily life within the country, in an attempt to mirror the complexity and fragmented nature of the process of transformation.

The photographs emphasize both change and the lack of change, while the essay as a whole becomes a commentary on the intertwined relationship between past, present and an uncertain future.

These photographs were taken in small towns, townships and cities throughout South Africa.

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