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In 2014, South Africa entered its twenty years of Democracy, this moment coincided with the recent death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the birth of Economic Freedom Fighters and the National Elections. In the advent of The Rainbow Nation, three photographers travelled 24000 kilometers over seven months throughout South Africa in a motorhome to feel the pulse of the country.


WRITER: COMMUNE.1 / Curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa

PHOTOGRAPHY:  SIPHO MPONGO / SEAN METELERKAMP / WIKUS DE WET


Sipho Mpongo, focused on the Born Frees, the first generation growing up out of apartheid rule. Asking: will they allow themselves to be defined by the scars of apartheid, or will they embrace freedom, choice and opportunity? Wikus de Wet, investigates the cultural, historical and commercial value of Land and the relationship it has to the people who inhabit the space. While Sean Metelerkamp, explores ‘Idiosyncrasies’ highlighting the absurdity of life in this magnificently puzzled country. He attempts to capture an unwilling moment, an unwarranted time and an unforgiving historical present.

This photographic series is the result of the photographer’s search for the country’s pulse, the search for The New South Africa. – Curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa

Sipho Mpongo – ‘BORN FREES’

“The ‘born frees’ make up about 40 percent of the population, and the critics among older South Africans contend that they are apathetic and apolitical, unaware of the history of the struggle that made their lives better. Will they allow themselves to be defined by the scars of apartheid, or will they embrace freedom, choice and opportunity? Taking responsibility for being exactly where you are gives you the power to be exactly where you want to be. They are the future. I will focus on the future.”

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Sean Metelerkamp  – ‘IDIOSYNCRASIES’

“I am South African; I retain the good, the bad, the weird and the wonderful within my blood and I see the hope, superstition, desire, regret, persistence and anger of this nation. My first ten years of existence moving up and down the beautiful coastline of this country was under white rule. I recognize the problematic nature of racial realities that afflict all South Africans and have been a part of the change, before and after. Attuned to new experiences, alien to the values of the dominant society I use my tools and skills to evoke the absurdity of life in this magnificently puzzled country. ”

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Wikus de Wet  – ‘LAND’

“A plan was set in place at the birth of democracy to repossess land, and return it to those from whom it was taken, but it doesn’t seem that anything has been done about it. Land is still a contentious issue amongst most South Africans. My goal is to understand the relationship land has to the people who occupy it. Cultural and historical value to land in South Africa will come to the foreground.”

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TWENTY JOURNEY: BORN FREES / LAND / IDIOSYNCRASIES

INFO : www.twentyjourney.com

INFO : www.commune1.com