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The Fashion Issue 2008

SA Styles

These photos were taken in a part of South Africa known as Walmer Location in Port Elizabeth. The place is a side effect of the implementation of apartheid in the 1960s.
2.4.08

These photos were taken in a part of South Africa known as Walmer Location in Port Elizabeth. The place is a side effect of the implementation of apartheid in the 1960s, when areas like this were established to separate people into groups of similar skin tone. Walmer narrowly avoided being demolished and all its residents re-housed in the 1980s but the ongoing neglect has left a general vibe of it being a really shitty place to live, which isn’t helped by its position directly next to an airport and a rubbish dump. Eddie Groenewald is a South African photographer who recently visited Walmer to shoot the styles on the street.

“In Walmer Location, I found that people were more than happy for me to take their photos, but they refused to answer any of my questions or give me their names—people don’t trust journalists here, especially not white ones. There are bigger black townships around like Motherwell and Kwazikele, but we didn’t venture in as even the roads leading in are dodgy. It’s not unusual to have stones or bricks thrown at your car in the hopes of forcing you to pull over, at which point you’ll be mugged. Walmer’s the safest location for us to get into. During the day, community life is great and peaceful. At night though, when the taverns open and the nightmares start, even basic services like ambulances won’t enter for fear of being shot up or hijacked.”