Haruto Maeda - Quiet Life - The Village of South Africa (photography)


The Transkai in South Africa is a desolate landscape which stretches as far as the eye can see. It is a different image of Africa than what you would expect. Many Xhosa people live in arid areas ( which they call home land) as a result of the Apartheid regime. During this time Native Africans were forced to live within a designated 13 percent of the country, the majority of which is arid. One Xhosa village in this homeland is “Cacadu”, located in a hilly district twelve hours by car from Johannesburg. In this area there is little rain. The land is dry and sterile. It is difficult to farm the land there, so most young people and fathers leave the village to find work. Cacadu’s population is about 1,200. The inhabitants are mostly old people, women and children. Here, the traditional lifestyle has become impossible. The villagers can only earn an income from work outside the village. This situation has not changed since the difficult Apartheid era. There are a lot of children who grow up not knowing their father’s face, another legacy left by Apartheid. The village has no modern technology, electricity or running water, so the river is indispensable. People in the village go to the river to draw water, which is about 30 minutes away by foot. Village women are accustomed to carrying the heavy buckets on their heads, and they go back home without spilling a drop of water. It is very hard work. The firewood for boiling water, invaluable for a cup of coffee or washing water, is also collected far from the village. Over the past 10 years, I have visited Cacadu many times and recorded on film the “Quiet Life” of the elderly and their grandchildren. I wanted to show the hardship of their daily lives in this environment.
Maeda is a great japanese photographer. Another portfolio by him, here.

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