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I was shot in Joburg

August 5, 2011   Tags: art, photography, blog

by VISI BLOGGER Peter-Ernst Maré


I’ve always been fascinated with snapshot photographs. For me, they capture a second in a life lived without any pretence or posed stylisation. If there’s one study that I would like to do, it would be on the art of looking. How do we perceive our environment? How do others see the environment that I create? What lasting impact does my environment have on another’s perspective?

To me, Johannesburg is the most interesting, textured city in South Africa. I’m lucky enough to work almost solely in the heart of the city, and over the years it’s become more striking to me. It’s the synergy of history, drive for success, passion and interesting, warm people that give Joburg a buzz of energy. If you walk around and experience the space – new and old – you’re always treated to a visual overload. Suburban dwellers, who don’t hit the streets of Joburg, never really see or understand its beauty. They’re blind-shot by unjustified fear.

To my delight, “I was shot in Joburg :-)” brings snapshots of Johannesburg’s streets to everybody from the perspective of Hillbrow’s former street children. 

Started by Bernard Viljoen, an architect and photographer, “I was shot in Joburg :-)” is an income-generating community project with a group of 15 boys from the Twilight Children shelter. These former street children receive photography training and skills development projects through the Studio_Bernard Viljoen Foundation.

Armed with cameras, the children hit the streets of Johannesburg and document their environment. These shots are then printed onto canvasses, T-shirts and various other products to enable them to generate an income and grow “I was Shot” into a sustainable business.

Their snapshots capture the beauty, intriguing spaces, layers of textures and interesting people of Johannesburg. If you love Johannesburg as much as I do and you’re intrigued by how street children view the city, then this is definitely a project worth supporting.  

You can view and buy their work every Sunday at Arts on Main. Alternatively, visit their website at www.iwasshot.co.za. For more information, contact Bernard Viljoen on 082 922 5674, info@bernard.c.za

About Pieter-Ernst:

Pieter is an architect from Melville, Johannesburg, and is currently employed by Lupini Architects:http://lupiniarc.wordpress.com/

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