Fashion photography meets African townships with Elle magazine’s New Talent Photographer Award, giving us a view of Imizamo Yethu like we’ve never seen before.
Fashion in the Township
With the rural conditions of township life being thrown into sharp contrast with the fashion forward and elegantly dressed model, photographer Freddie Child-Villiers has captured the essence of everyday life in Imizamo Yethu – and also bagged the New Talent Photographer Award from Elle magazine.
Sexy, stylish and spirited
Freddie Child-Villiers’ award winning fashion shoot is a unique response to a fairly fashion centric brief. The aim of the New Talent Photographer Award was for entrants to create an eight-page fashion or beauty feature that answers to the description: Sexy, Stylish and Spirited, with minimum retouching on their work. And while some might argue that that the contrast is too great and shows the inequality between socio-economic groups in South Africa, the campaign rather shows the women of Imizamo Yethu in a positive light, illustrating how townships life is no longer associated with oppression but rather a hive of entrepreneurial skill and spirit.
Imizamo Yethu’s narrative
According to award-winning fashion photographer Gerda Genis, “Fashion photography is about creating a visual language, mostly in a series of pictures that capture the reader and draws them into the essence of a story, a story that always centres on clothing. The stronger the visual narrative, the longer the story lingers. There is no restriction to the narrative, the most important element is that it captivates the audience.”
And with these pictures showing the vibrancy and hope of everyday township life, Imizamo Yethu’s narrative is undoubtedly strong enough to capture our attention and linger in our memories.