Photographer Graeme Williams’ photo essay Painting Over the Present focuses on the environments occupied by some of South Africa’s poorest communities due to the political and economic shifts. Even though wealth and power have shifted hands since the first democratic elections in 1994, it hasn’t really reached to the grassroots level. While focusing on the exteriors of the people’s homes, Williams’ photographs are intentionally static in composition in order to accentuate the minutiae of the occupants’ day-to-day dwelling places. The bright colours captured in these photographs act as visual trinkets to momentarily distract the viewer from deeper harsh realities. However, although they encourage denial, they are also suggestive of resilience, hope and, sense of humanity that remains in these poverty-stricken communities.

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