In his analogue series, ironically titled Community Upliftment, photojournalist Jon Riordan explores the damaging effects that urban gentrification has had on Woodstock, one of Cape Town’s oldest and most historically integrated areas. His experimental photographs intend to highlight how exclusionary developments and an in-affordable rise in property values and rents has led to a displacement of the original Cape Colony’s Malay and Coloured communities, who have always called the area home.
Jon creatively revisits analogue ways of image-making to produce his blurred, vignetted and beautifully distorted photographs.
“As a photographer I try to allow my projects to become more than a representational account of my subject matter. In this instance I decided to shoot the project using home-made pinhole lenses in the hope that the idiosyncratic images they produced, full of shadows, transient figures and the extrusive passage of time, would become a visual metaphor for [gentrification] as well as the experience of losing your ability to be included and participate within your neighborhood,” the artist says of his approach to making the series.
View the full essay below and find more of his work online.