Monday, March 7, 2011

Simple pictures that tell a complex story

The two recent photographs posted below both have their own stories to tell. The first picture was taken in Sunnyside, Pretoria, in Esselen Street near the corner of Bourke. South Africans who can remember what Sunnyside looked like back in the good ol’ days, will immediately identify what story this picture is telling. The picture was taken on a Sunday afternoon, and depicts a relatively quiet street-scene.

I walked across the street to take a shot from the opposite side, but was harassed by a group of Nigerians, whom I suspect where drug dealers operating from the small café to the right of the black Mercedes Benz. The whole gang eventually left the scene in a hurry in their pricey Benz. I did eventually get a shot of a rather bizarre scene depicting a happy-clappy faith centre (church) situated next to a liquor store on its left, and a booze tavern on the top, but the sun’s position spoiled the shot. (Cell phones are definitely not the best gadgets to take pictures with!)

Readers who are familiar with Sunnyside may also find this video posting quite interesting.

The second picture was taken in the suburb of Elardus Park, in Pretoria-East. At first glance the picture seems rather ordinary, as it depicts a scene which most South Africans will hardly take notice of - the reason being, that almost every street corner in the suburbs of Pretoria look like this. It appears that it is only the main parks and main routes of the city that are being semi-maintained.

Although it should be obvious for most readers, here is the story this picture tells:
Weeds and grass have not been cut by the municipality (City of Tshwane) all summer. The street signboard is on the verge of falling off. The sign advertising the property auction has become a characteristic feature all over the city. Hundreds of properties are being auctioned, and hundreds of homes are standing vacant. A wall is not enough to keep intruders out of your property – (Note the barbed wire on top of the brick wall on the left of the picture – a common SA feature!) All accessible branches on the young tree in the background (behind the auction sign) have been stripped for firewood. Quite amazing what one picture can reveal!

Related Post: Dark Africa has arrived!


Ravensqarr said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Lived in Sunnyside myself (cnr Bourke and Jorisson) and was able to go out at night - walking btw! - to go watch movies at Sunnypark or Sterland or even a few beers at London Taverns watching a comedy show. A game of pool at Stix perhaps.

But those days are long gone. I moved after I got mugged right in front of the police station.
The useless (add various expletives here) police officer (I cannot and will not say 'officer of the law') could not open a docket until I have handed him my ID book - WHICH IS CURRENTLY A BLOCK AWAY IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE I'M TRYING HIM TO CATCH. And then I got home to a burgled flat.

Well, driving through there now makes me wonder if I have a malady of some sorts. Because I remember when it was nice, with kids from the flats playing in the clean, green parks, safe until the street lights come on and mothers started calling them home for supper. Maybe it IS me that's nuts.

TIKO said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Your blog is very intersting came across it by mistake as i was searching for esselen street visuals. I am currently busy with a proposal to improve my street in Sunnyside, i'm a resident, property owner in the areas. even though there's a variety of social problems the area is faced with the solutions can only come from the inhabitants. not the government or people living outside the area. the easy option would be to sell and go elsewhere but realize that as a citizen also have a responsibility to contribute the best i can. the way to go is multi-lateral approach, involve various stake holders and residents to be involved and own the improvements otherwise we'll end up with islands of beauty among see of ugliness fast growing trend(Residential estates). Simon

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@TIKO (Simon)
Thanks for visiting and contributing to this page. I hope you’ll become a regular contributor!

I now from experience how difficult it can be to get a project of this nature on the go, especially in an environment where the majority of inhabitants don’t care a damn!

Money is a always a good motivator!

In Feb 2009 the Rekord newspaper tackled a similar initiative, in preparation for the 2010 Soccer WC. They involved various schools and churches in the competition, who stood a chance of winning prizes to the value of R35,000. Click here to view the article on this blog.

Take care, and good luck with your plans to improve the street!

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