Hard to describe our afternoon inside District 6 of the Cape Town townships. One of the most influential environments I’ve ever been to, this area of the townships that we visited is only the tip of the iceberg. Of the 3.5 million people living in Cape Town, just under 500,000 of these black post-Apartheid Africans live in a space that is insanely too small. Regardless of these living conditions and extreme poverty, the children, men, and women of the township we visited were beyond excited to see us. They enjoyed the little things while we, a small group of extremely white photographers and filmmakers, laughed in their presence and played their games.
It was hard to tell whether or not the township dogs were fast asleep, hungry, and deprived, or lying dead and motionless on the cold ground. Whatever life they had left in them, it wasn’t a good one. They limped around slowly, always poking their noses to the sky in attempt to pick up an unfamiliar scent of something to eat. One of my most favorite photos from our township visit is the shot of the brown and black dog lying down eyes closed in the foreground, and behind him is a scene from the rest of the street. There is a young boy, who was wandering around just as aimlessly as the other kids, standing about 25 feet behind the dog. Across the street from him is a small group of sketchy looking older men. I probably snapped this photo about 10 times, playing around with the aperture and ISO settings so that I could get that depth of field I was looking for. I ended up settling with a small f/stop shot which results in a more focused perspective on the dog, and brings less attention to the boy and small group of township men. I remember calling over to Cory after taking these photos and telling him “I think I just took the best picture I’ve ever taken”.
Walking through the townships in Cape Town was one of the craziest things I’ve ever experienced and something I hope to repeat. We only spent about 2 hours inside the gated “community”, but that time seemed to stretch on. It was like going through a portal in time and ending up in some far away land where people exist with literally nothing. These people have next-to-none when it comes to the material things, but I’ve learned that they have an endless capacity for love and compassion towards others.
Empty hanger near entrance of District 6. These 3 children were pulling homemade cars around built from juice and milk cartons
Inside the Townships, theres an incredible amount of trash everywhere. Grabbed this shot from a good distance away as the guy in the red shirt was looking over his shoulder and peering back at our group
These 240 ft lightposts are artifacts from the Apartheid in South Africa. They were strategically built tall enough so that the human hand and slingshot could not hurl a rock at a light to put it out. When the police came in to raid homes and arrest people, these lights would turn on and illuminate enough square footage in the townships for the police to see at night
This woman is preparing a “smiley” – a traditional South African snack, consisting of an entire lamb head that is seared and hot-rodded until only the tender meat from the cheeks, nose, and forehead are ready to eat. I ate it! Very very chewy and fatty, but some of the sweetest tasting meat I’ve ever had
playing soccer with a tennis ball