Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the category “Photography”

Photo of the month (July)

Children playing in front of one of Keziah’s murals in Vrygrond

With paintbrush in hand, Keziah Philipson is bringing a  splash of colour and messages of hope to the streets  of Vrygrond. Here she shares with us the story so far.

Ever since our church moved into a building alongside the Vrygrond settlement in Muizenberg, the community has become an inspiring but challenging part of the life of our church. It’s a place where poverty and gangsterism are experienced every day. However, it is also a place where the saving grace of Christ is so powerfully evident and real.

Jeremiah, leaning against the car, is Keziah’s art critic and director on site. She painted the above “Freedom Reigns” mural for him on the boundary wall of his house

We had a vision of bringing beauty, colour and light into what can be a dark place by prophesying biblical truth through public art. We began by painting a friend’s tin wall with lyrics from a worship song. Her neighbours gathered around and asked us to come back and paint their walls too, and since then we’ve returned and painted various walls along the street as we get to know the residents in the area.

This is Sanna standing in front of her wall with her neighbour’s children

We’re always joined by a devoted following of children offering advice and chatting away; often the adults affirm our painted words, and invite prayer and a fresh witness to their stories and the scenes of their lives. Our passion is to change a cultural identity from one defined by poverty and crime to one defined by biblical hope, truth and blessing; and to declare and unlock specific household and cultural identities.

A resident claims a spot to relax by the bright walls

Children playing in the street while Keziah paints

Neighbourhood children posing in front of a mural

“We’re always joined by a devoted following of children offering advice and chatting away”

– Keziah Philipson attends Bay Community Church in Muizenberg, Cape Town. She is currently studying PGCE at UCT and doing an art therapy course as she wants to become an art teacher. She is originally from Zimbabwe. 

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Photo of the month

“This photo was taken in late December 2010, in the heart of Manenberg, Cape Town.  It was taken from a series of stills that were shot as part of a documentary made by the Fusion Project, run through an NGO called The Warehouse.  That day we met people on the street and we went into people’s homes, chatting to them about the biggest struggles they face as a community; how gangsterism and drugs affect their lives and what they would like to see change.  It was an emotional roller coaster ranging from the seemingly happy children kicking torn up old soccer balls around the streets to the despair on a mothers face as she described the pain of losing two sons and a husband to the combined effects of gangs and drug abuse.  Manenberg is a suburb that is desperate for change, desperate for help and desperate for God.” – Nick Key, 27, photographer and film maker

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