MR MKHIZE'S PORTRAIT & OTHER STORIES OF THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
A decade after the fall of apartheid and how have things changed for those living in South Africa today?
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin spent three months traversing their homeland examining the way people live, how they work, how they love and how they die. Initially commissioned for the new Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, the book brings together the many portraits that represent this new South Africa.
"We met Mr. Mkhize in a migrant worker’s hostel in a township outside Johannesburg, South Africa. He told us that he had been photographed twice before in his life. The first time was for his Passbook, a document which allowed the apartheid government to control his movements. The second was for his ID book, which allowed him to vote in the country’s first democratic elections. Ten years later we met him and took his picture."
Through this work we learn of individuals’; aspirations and fears, such as Matapa Maila, a contestant in Miss Teen South Africa, who has no memory of apartheid; Mandllenkosi Noqhayi, a circumcision initiate who is studying to become an accountant, and Mishack Masilela, a contestant at the Miss Gay Soweto competition, who wants to be able to marry the man that he loves.
Threaded through these personal tales and glimpses of everyday life we gain an understanding of the wider issues facing South Africa today, such as the housing shortage, high unemployment, widespread violent crime, the impact of economic migrants and perhaps most significant of all, the widespread effect of the AIDS epidemic. But it is also a story of optimism and empowerment. After ten years of freedom, South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world and the strongest economies in Africa.