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Bungalows, Hangberg, Hout Bay, Cape Town I (Triptych)

David Lurie
Bungalows, Hangberg, Hout Bay, Cape Town I (Triptych), 57 x 86 cm. Colour photograph 2012.

'Encounters at the Edge'

David Lurie at The Photographers Gallery

David Lurie presents 'Encounters at the Edge', an exhibition focussing on urbanisation and its effects on the disenfranchised. He writes:

'According to the United Nations, the majority of the world’s population today lives in cities. Out of a world population of 7 billion, 1 billion people live in slums and more than 1 billion are informal workers, struggling to survive. These figures are staggering if you consider that 95% of the future growth of humanity will occur in cities, overwhelmingly in poor cities, and most of it in slums, creating a crisis for this global urban, informal working class, or mass unemployed people – especially, but not only, in the developing world – who have no formal connection to the world economy, and no chance of ever having such a connection.

Cape Town mirrors many of the problems facing other African cities and cities in the developing world. How does this surplus humanity improvise survival in the city? The photographs included in this exhibition are an attempt to distill my experience of these fragments of life – of unfinished stories – on the precipice beyond the edge of Cape Town. It is a study in informal survival, in a world of unstable, sprawling squatter camps, informal settlements, garbage hills, and the sand dunes of the Cape Flats (and more recently, in Hout Bay where I now live), where urbanisation has been disconnected from industrialisation and even from economic growth.

My photographs focus on the excluded, warehoused in shantytowns and exiled from the formal world economy, a habitat largely constructed out of crude brick, recycled plastic, metal sheets, cardboard, cement blocks, and scrap wood, surrounded by pollution, excrement, and decay. This is my attempt to capture the variety of responses to this environment.'

To be opened by Prof. Jo Noero (Architecture, University of Cape Town)

11 July - 25 September



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