David Goldblatt
Buffelsjagbaai, Western Cape. 5 October 2004

The founders of this small village on the Southern Cape Atlantic coast, Johannes and Sophia Swam, came there in the 1920s. Shipwrecks and driftwood provided planks from which they built a house and a boat. Scarcity of water was a problem and there were few roads. But in time a community grew there. The women would walk to surrounding villages to sell fish which they carried on poles and to buy provisions. Between March and May when the geelbek (yellowtail) were running, people would come on donkey carts to buy their catches. Under apartheid the community lacked rights of permanent residence. Today they have electricity, water and security of tenure. They harvest kelp but the fish and the perlemoen (abalone) on which they depend are in decline.

archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper
paper size: 112 x 133.5cm
image size: 99 x 120.5cm
edition of 10

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.