MBOISA: The irony and anger of beauty in South Africa

Three young South Africans from three very different backgrounds set off a journey to discover the pulse of their country 20 years into democracy.

Sean Metelerkamp, Wikus de Wet and Sipho Mpongo, the three young South African photographers and filmmakers who make up Twenty Journey, set off in a camper van for seven months to document the many faces of South Africa. What they found became the Twenty Journey book (as well as a series of films and galleries that they uploaded to their website).

Beauty here in South Africa has anger within it. How do you deal with that? That’s the beauty in this country, says Mpongo

For this year’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA), the Design Indaba team have nominated this book as we believe that its findings truly interrogate the notion of beauty in this complex country.

“Being nominated for the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa is kind of ironic for us for this book, because a lot of the images in it aren’t really beautiful. They are kind of dark and take you to a certain space that you wouldn’t consider beautiful,”  says Metelerkamp.

Metelerkamp goes on to explain that the magic in the book is not just in its contents, but also in the collaboratoin between the three artists who created it. An Afrikaner, a Xhosa and an Englishman would not have been able to work together in so close a way as these three did 20 years ago.