Roadhouse: Picturing South Africa's Ekurhuleni

A new photography initiative in Gauteng, South Africa.

A new photography initiative in Gauteng, South Africa will follow the international trend of bringing the works of great and emergent photographers to public spaces.

Photography is considered the most democratic of art forms, and festivals like Lagos Photo, the Delhi Photo Festival and the important Swiss festival of Images Vevey all include public platforms that bring the medium directly to the people.

The local initiative is called Roadhouse and for its inaugural event, it presents a photographic screening at the Casa Blanca Roadhouse in Brakpan on 1 April 2017 from 7pm to 10pm.

The exhibition, that will be shown outdoors on a high-resolution, large projection screen, is titled EAST RAND, and it focuses on this district of enormous visual richness, and complex social evolution. The East Rand/Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has provided inspiration for a range of photographers who have visited the region where they have produced some of their finest work to date.

Each body of work takes a close look at the history, way of life and events that have taken place on the East Rand, from 1960 till today.

The screening hopes to introduce Brakpan to the power of photography and bring art lovers to the area.

The Roadhouse project is the initiative of photographer Marc Shoul who, himself, produced a body of work in Brakpan from 2008 to 2012.

Roadhouse is committed to screening and promoting art in alternative and accessible venues to increase exposure, entertain and change perceptions.

Screenings will comprise of photographic images and works of art in conjunction with DJs, musicians and performance artists.

The photographers include David Goldblatt, Ronald & Torrance Ngilima, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, Marc Shoul, Sibusiso Bheka, Raymond Mokoena, and Jabulani Dhlamini, DJ Young Smuts will be mixing music to the images.

Jabulani Dhlamini explores the results of his engagement, since 2008, with the residents of Sharpeville, reflecting on the massacre that took place there on March 21, 1960 as a turning point in South African history.
Sobekwa says, “I have been documenting Phola park ever since I got introduced to photography, looking inside homes and the outside system. Over the years I have witnessed almost everything that one can experience; love, despair, lust, unity, pain, friendship, empathy, conflict, betrayal, forgiveness”.
The images in the Ronald Ngilima collection consist of commissioned portraits and documentary photographs of the communities in the Benoni Old Location and Wattville township. They depict people from various Coloured, Indian and African communities in their home on the street and in the studio that Ronald had set up in his living room.
Raymond Mokoena documents the fascinating cars of the Daveyton township: " I began documenting these cars during the early 2000’s. Daveyton was the only township in South Africa to have so many of these cars and each car can carry up to eight passengers," he explains.
Marc Shoul photographed Brakpan, a gold and uranium mining town, between 2008 to 2012.
Photographer Sibusiso Bheka hopes to change the way people view townships: "My work is about portraying a way of living and educating the viewer to enhance the knowledge they have about the townships at night."

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