Part of the Project
Johannesburg-based filmmaker and photographer Chris Saunders recently completed a one-year residency at Fabrica, United Colors of Benetton’s Creative Research Facility in Italy. He is currently back working in South Africa. We caught up with him to find out what he has been up to since being part of the Emerging Creatives programme in 2009 and what he thought of the experience.
For Saunders, the programme exposed him to the many people who visit South Africa during the annual Design Indaba Conference and Expo. “Thanks to the exposure I received, I ended up spending a year at Fabrica in Italy”, he says. This experience was a dream come true. “I stayed for a year and was able to follow in the footsteps of my idols through working for Colors Magazine”, he adds.
Saunders’ work does not focus on a concern but rather on a solution and things that are going well.
I am trying to show people who are doing well, who are making beautiful things and cultures that have not been exposed to the rest of the world, but are interesting, socially relevant and contemporary, says Saunders.
Saunders further speaks about the culture in South Africa and what it means to be a young South African. He also shares some thoughts on the continent as a whole: “Africa might be the next big thing to people in other countries now, but at the same time it’s always had new things happening and cultures have always been emerging”, he says.
Currently Saunders is working on a book that highlights the history of Pantsula, a new language and a new way of dressing for South Africans. “Pantsula occurred when people were forced together during Apartheid and were forced to find a common ground and reinvent themselves,” he explains.
Saunders’ advice for creatives is to stay busy and constantly think about what it is you want to do for the rest of your life.