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Green Valley: Charmaine & Charmwill & Humphrey

By andreduplessis
Green Valley Jan 09: Charmaine D1 & Charmwill & Humphrey D2.
Please view in large mode, thanks.

Although South Africa is now fourteen or so years down the road of a free and fair democracy, there is still a division as far as where the different sections of the populace live. By this I refer mainly to the white, black and coloured races.
For many centuries this was how we lived, and how the laws goverened. So it will be unrealistic to expect an intergration on all levels after a mere fourteen years, as communities have been rooted, and probably will remain rooted where they are at present. One does not simply pick up home and go elsewhere because you can.
SA is a large and sparsly populated country, and sometimes the distance from one of these communities to the next is quite vast, measured by European standards.
Traditionally you will have the town or city (the one you will see on the map), which deliniates the white or European sector, and to here the other two sections of the population, that usually lived in their own demarcated areas outside of this area, will come each day to work.
The dynamics and socio-economic status of these three discrete communities have changed quite a lot since 1994, with much more intergration on all levels, including that of freedom and choice of place of abode, however, this remains largely still unchanged.
The communities that I have visited and recorded on epz are mainly coloured (or of mixed race) in the area between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, a distance of about 30km.
The black township in my area, called Kwanokathula, I have hardly visited, yet my recent and only visit there produced me with such an interesting experience, when meeting Vincent as he was going through his initiation period. Those pictures I uploaded last week.
The communities (as I call them) of Modderhoek, Bracken Hill, Vrystaat, Wittedrift and Green Valley which I have submitted photos of are mainly that of coloured people. We share the same language, and I share a kinship with them, hence my comfort in recording them, and probably vice versa.

On visiting Green Valley, which is about 10km from my house outside Plettenberg Bay, I managed these uploads of Charmaine Jacobs, and her son Charmwill, who is now about one year old. Although originally intended as separate uploads, I could hardly show Charmaine without submitting the connection to her son, who is held by a little shy chap called Humphrey Wildeman. I first took pictures of the baby and Humphrey, and was astounded when this teenage-looking girl (she is actually 25yrs old!) announced that this baby was actually her's.
The 1st upload shows her in her bedroom, while in the second, her son Charwill with Humphrey holding him is pictured on the steps at her front door. The shard of light above Charmaine's head I retained for authenticity - this comes from a separation in the planks that form the wall.

D1: Available light, Tripod, 1/5sec, ISO 1000
D2: Outside and more forgiving.

Thanks for visiting,

Tags: Photo journalism Black and white Portraits and people

Voters: PeelNStick, TyChee, jkcuddihy and 17 more



PeelNStick 18 4 United States
31 Jan 2009 2:43AM
Great set. I like the use of mono.
VIKI 16 18 1 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2009 8:31AM
2 fabulous images!
zebraboy 18 197 Australia
31 Jan 2009 8:52AM
Andre, these are sublime!! Your portrait subjects do look at ease with you and looking at these warm, kind smiles from Charmaine & Humphrey are as good a way to start the day as any!!
JBA 14 341 1 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2009 10:21AM
great background story. really adds to the feel of the pics. lovely shots.
digipix76 16 577 England
31 Jan 2009 10:34AM
Wonderful images.

SlowSong Plus
14 10.8k 30 England
31 Jan 2009 4:53PM
Charming portraits. They look happier that some of your previous images.
1 Feb 2009 12:02AM
Thank you for the comments. The kids are always laughing and smiling, but that stops when they face the camera in adulthood. It is like switching off a light - all laughs and then, zip - stern face etc. In my uploads last year on the Kannemeyers I wrote about this. The lack of teeth in most of the adults, with the guarded smile behind the hand is sad to experience.
ToothPilot 16 50 4 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2009 8:22PM
Andre, the vertical light rising from the back of Charmaine's head spoils this very good image. Try to burn it out or cone in out in another upload to this page. It is so beautiful!!
One of your best.
8 Feb 2009 5:12PM
Thanks Hendrik. I know that it probably disturbs, however, as the 2 panels behind her are of different textures and tones, I am not too sure that my correction will be seamless. So I rather left it, and after all, this is how the wall actually looks. Andre

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