Long Ago Citizens

Cape Town’s urban formations are both settled and constantly shifting. Take Windermere, which, like District Six, would be reconfigured by the apartheid bulldozer. Bryan Heseltine (b.1923, Addo, SA – d. 2008, UK) started making photos in Windermere in the late 1940s. He was particularly interested in Windermere’s black population, who lived in shack settlements between 8th and 12th Avenues. As he done in Bo-Kaap and District Six before, Heseltine paired his deliberate gaze with an empathetic eye. His vivid portraiture—exhibited in Cape Town in 2013, the first time since 1952—summons a moment of fragile and ultimately lost grace. In 1958 Windermere was reclassified a “coloured” area.

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