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Hutchinson : SHUNTED

Eric Miller | South Africa

Hutchinson. Northern Cape, South Africa.

The moon sets over the run down station buildings.

Photo © emiller@iafrica.com

The story of the demise of an industry, era, & the towns associated with them.

At the height of Apartheid, (around 1960s) the South African Railways company was the countries largest single employer, skewed to favouring white people for skilled jobs.

As a result of massive technical, economic and political change in both SAfrica and globally, SARailways declined and then all but collapsed. By 1994 it was a mere shadow of itself. Dozens of railway towns died, thousands of jobs were lost.

By 2018 the remaining residents of Hutchinson were living primarily off government grants for pensioners, children, & disabled people. The town has no shops, businesses .

This body of work is the result of the creation of a documentary video, & collection of documentary images, recording the stories/lives of residents. The current residents of Hutchinson live hard scrabble lives in the bleak remains of the town. Many of the houses were destroyed as authorities initially prevented black residents from occupying abandoned ‘white’ homes, and residents plundered wood for fires to cook & keep warm over the years.

This body of work grew out of a documentary film project that my wife and I, first time film makers, embarked on in 2018 and 2019. The work on the film simultaneously produced a body of stills images. I am a long time documentary photographer, my wife is a former anti-apartheid political activist who, from 1994 until 2017, worked for government in South Africa. The work was self-funded, and to date has won one award and been selected for two film festivals.




Instagram : erixzapix

+27 83 225 9675

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