Walmer Location, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
This was a fun shoot, arranged with a few of the township kids I quickly drew a lot attention and soon had a whole township behind me cheating and watching. Impoverished teenagers involved in Izikhothane have attracted sharp criticism due to their destruction of luxury brands in a carnival of excess. At their worst they will buy lavish items of clothing and proceed to trample and burn them to show off to their friends, or simply to negate their feeling of glaring dispossession. The group I met and photographed here at Walmer Location called themselves ‘Lai Golden Spidens’ and they have been congregating in a central part of their township on a Friday for the last 2 years. Many different groups would turn up, (perhaps 100-200 people) the aim of the game to be wearing something new, expensive and designer of course. If you don’t have anything new you shouldn’t turn up because you will be ridiculed. Sports brands like Nike and adidas are popular but equally labels like Paul Smith, Ben Sherman rate high to get, as Nonke told me, ‘the London look!’ These particular boys seemed quite relaxed and spoke of the fun of being a ‘S’khothane’ but if you google this trend you will find lots of stories of suicides, kids burning money, throwing drinks all over each other and general destruction. I asked these teenagers how they afford their new clothes and trainers, considering they are all living in shacks and unemployment is as high as 80% its very evident that money is not disposable but they explained their parents pay for things and they earn money from being dj’s. I’m still not sure how they do it but …...
Voting is now closed.
To limit fraudulent voting, you may only vote once per category per IP address.