South Africa’s transformation to democracy in 1994 was applauded worldwide and for a time it served as a role model for other nations in flux. However, as the years have gone by and the realities of the challenges of a changing nation have set in, South Africa has fallen from its state of grace. The country’s failure to live up to the ideal of a ‘rainbow nation’ has been blamed on phenomena such as corruption, crime and ineffective leadership. The country has recently been downgraded to Junk Status by rating agencies and the president, Jacob Zuma, has over 780 corruption charges against him.
In this photographic essay I focus on subjects that lack any particular point of interest or by choosing the un-decisive moment within scenes, the viewer’s attempt to find clarity within the image, is thwarted. The images purposefully imitate and, at the same time, negate the fallacies inherent in the promotional tourist publications. These showcased the best of Sunny South Africa, with its clean beaches, abundant wildlife and a culture that had more in common with Europe than Africa.
The lack of narrative within and between the images in this photographic essay is intended as a reflection of both the country’s external decay, as well as the internal, emotional turmoil and fragmentation that living in an uncertain society evokes.