Bronze 2017 Editorial / Political

Homelands

  • Prize
    Bronze in Editorial/Political
  • Photographer
    Pieter de Vos

"Homelands" explores the complexities of life on the economic margins of South Africa. The images are set in Woodlane Village, a squatter camp located in the wealthy suburb of Moreleta Park in Pretoria. Other home-places home are also depicted.Woodlane Village comprises 846 households representing around 3000 people from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, and South Africa. Most of the residents are political and economic refugees. The village is called "Plastic View" by the surrounding homeowners who describe the place as a hotbed of crime and pestilence — and oppose integration and community-building efforts.The village is a crucible for the tensions South Africa is experiencing around land, migration, housing, the entrenchment of an economic form of segregation, and the context of social upheaval and violence.Although, the photographs are situated in the settlement and in the townships surrounding Pretoria, they reveal more of a psychological and emotional landscape than they do a physical one. They speak of love and loss, of adaptation and resilience, and of the yearning to live in community with others despite the forces pulling us apart.This series is part of long-term documentary and narrative project (2011 to 2017) that consists of photos along with an unpublished memoir that captures the interlocking stories of four men who live in this community and myself as we inquire into the concepts of "home" and "belonging" and our common connection to our homeland.