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Uneasy Transitions in South Africa

Alexia Webster

Roodepoort, South Africa. 2013-2014

An emerging middle class has sprung up on the western periphery of Johannesburg as thousands of people searching for a sense of safety, comfort and protection have descended on what had been an old world of rural Apartheid-era farmland.

Block after block of town housing developments have mushroomed across Roodepoort, covering the rocky ridges and valleys with concrete malls, brick walls and electric fences, dislodging, re-imaging and transforming the landscape and society.

But among these fortressed estates are remnants of another Roodepoort: horse stables, open veld, farm houses, nature reserves and an informal settlement of displaced former farm workers.

The influx of people has created new South African community, one built around aspiration and anxiety.

This series explores the tentative public life of Roodepoort and the deeply held human need for connection, contact and intimacy of its residents.