Roger Eberhard's photo series, Shanty Town Deluxe, shows a dozen South African shacks made of corrugated steel, painted in faint and friendly colors. It could be an ethnographic photographic typology study. And it is, in a way. But as we all know, pictures can lie and deceive.
This is really a study of cynical marketing to an elite new class promoting Poverty Tourism with none of the pain and all of the perks of modern comfort and convenience.
“Shanty Town” is actually a four star hotel in the heart of South Africa that offers visitors a township experience without ever having to set eyes on people who are actually suffering: a fabricated township built so that its wealthy clientele can pretend to slum it “within the safe environment of a private game reserve”.
Poverty as a cultural heritage. Poverty as a theme park, with air conditioning and wifi.
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This overview of 18 architectural photographers across the ages reveals how photography of architecture communicates wider truths about society — then and now.
A year-long retrospective of Christenberry's work is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington. Aperture has also published a new book of his life's work. Here, we share a representative portfolio of his work, accompanied by a 17 minute audio commentary by Christenberry himself.
From 2002 to 2005,