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Svea JOSEPHY

Born 1969 in South Africa.

My work investigates the construction of local settlements in relation to similarly named places in distant parts of the globe. These photographs locate the suburbs and townships surrounding South African cities at the heart of a network of interconnected perspectives and relationships between the ‘copy’ in South Africa and the ‘original’ in other geographic locations.

The images reveal correspondence, difference and parallels with places elsewhere in the world. The starting point for these photographs is a concern with the naming practices of places in South Africa. During the apartheid era, new areas were usually given names by bureaucrats but more recently communities have been responsible for naming their own neighbourhoods.

One noteworthy post apartheid era naming practice is to reference current news events (Barcelona, Lost City, Tsunami) or war zones (Kosovo, Kuwait, Burundi, Bosnia, Bagdad, Congo, Vietnam and Beirut). The photographs chosen for display show the ‘twin towns’ – Kuwait, Middle East – and it’s named ‘other’ Kuwait, in Cape Town. The shared names connect the different locations as sites of struggle, and of war, liberation and reconstruction in the early 1990s.

See online : On www.artsouthafrica.com

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