Manenberg is located eleven miles outside the central business district of Cape Town in the Cape Flats, an area now largely recognized for its social problems, which include HIV/AIDS, unemployment, drug abuse and gang violence. Twenty-four-year-old Naomi Lottering introduced me to the world of Manenberg on a sunny and cool winter's day in June 2010. I was photographing Naomi on Cape Town's Sea Point Promenade and learned that while she spends most of her time living on the streets, she grew up in Manenberg, where her family and many friends still live. Marginalized by culture, history and geography, life for most of Manenberg's residents is precarious and opportunities are often few and far between. The individuals I've met through Naomi are an integral part of Love From Manenberg and their willingness to share their lives and their community with me is the heart of this project. The directions Love From Manenberg will take in the coming years is as unpredictable as life itself.
As a documentarian and curator I seek projects that simultaneously build meaningful relationships, challenge boundaries and shape my perceptions and ideas about the world. In turn, I hope my imagery brings a voice to those I photograph and invites viewers to question circumstances, both unfamiliar and familiar. My career began in 2000 while working as an assistant to Burt Glinn of Magnum Photos. From 2004-2008, I worked as a session-only photographer for the Minnesota House of Representatives and spent the interim working in New York, Vietnam, Ghana, Bangladesh and Haiti. I am currently completing personal projects in the U.S.A., South Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo and shoot for a variety of local and international publications and nonprofit organizations. In 2012 I received a Masters from Duke University focused on researching historical and contemporary photographic representations of sub-Saharan Africa. My work has been exhibited in New York and beyond.
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