#InPictures | Braamfontein And The ‘Black Cool’

There are two parts to Braam. Four if you want to be pedantic.

There’s the Braamlords’ Braam: cool  kids looking cool, dreaming up life-changing ideas, planning the next party…that type of thing. There’s the Blue Collar Braam: common folk doing common things like selling fish and tending to people’s hair at any one of the between-fifty-and-fifty million independent business outlets. There’s the Monday to Friday, nine-to-five Braam for the working adult who worries about kids and insurance and supper. This and the previous Braam’s are related. Lastly, Student Braam: take away this sector and the whole formation lies dormant, directionless.

I often go to Braamfontein on different days of the week, mostly to just stand at some corner and stare at it, waiting for answers. The streets do not have answers for me; I never know which questions to begin with when asking. And the kids, they’re are too cool to offer assistance. For the past two years, I’ve been taking pictures in and around the area, because that’s what one does when words lack and questions run amok. I was wild with excitement when writer Lwandile Fikeni’s piece about Braam youth’s refusal to be unseen got published in the Sunday Times. Here were the words to articulate — at least in part — what I go to there in order to understand.

I’ve sat and drank and watched and saw that the reality of being young and black within this capitalist conundrum of violence is to live in the present. And the present is very much attached to one’s blood and flesh. – Source

It inspired me to share recent and older bits of work below.

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