“To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld… a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.” (Mandela, 1994)
The series Refractions/Reflections questions the ways in which the neighboring suburbs of Kraafontein and Brackenfell depict the new South Africa.
These two geographically adjacent communities combined boast a diverse demographic that is roughly 36% Black 33% Coloured, and 30% White. Although they share grocery stores, roads, robots and gas stations, these suburbs are separated; The middle class municipality of Brackenfell’s racial demographics are 79% White, 9.8% Black African, and 9% Coloured. In contrast, the working class suburb of Kraafontein is 14.4% White, 43.3% Black African, 40% Coloured.
In these 55 square kilometers, the landscape represents the present and the past, the realities of desegregation and the myth of harmony. In articulating this post apartheid vision of the South African landscape, how have romanticized visions of the Rainbow Nation expanded or collapsed?