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A Photograph by Ollie Walker, in Collaboration with Through The Lens Collective.
“As far as the eye can see.” I say this to acknowledge a limitation of perspective. Yet I also mean I am comfortable with the extent of the frame, that my eye can accept the givenness of a place. This is not an idea that might sit well with golfers. They want both to contain and transcend a space, to go farther than their eyes can readily see. Or perhaps I read the game as a novice. The player’s strike is more intent on precision than covering a distance. Notice, then, the collective pause in the air, the children who sit still. The boy swings at a ball of fortune.
— Emmanuel Iduma
“I believe it is important to celebrate and share powerful story-driven photography.”
This photo was taken at Port St Johns golf club in Pondoland, South Africa. I was visiting the Transkie for my second year in a row working on my Pondoladia project. Documenting the wild landscapes, the people and the culture. This particular day I decided to stop by the Golf Club for lunch. I was surprised to see it was even open as Port St. Johns has become somewhat of a relic, a has-been “centre for tourism” on the wild coast and so I presumed the golf club would be closed, overgrown and out of business. To my surprise it was not only open for lunch but there were a group of Xhosa children running around the course – putting, chipping and sinking balls. One kid in particular was clearly very talented. I asked the old white owner of the establishment about this young talented black kid. He informed me that he had only been playing for 8 months and was about to enter into his first tournament. “True talent! Our next generation!” said the man.
I chose to take this photo for several reasons. One as a documentation of what I saw: a talented young kid playing golf and being admired by his peers and the patrons that were at the establishment. I think we all thought that we were looking at the next Tiger Woods. But, more importantly I took this picture in celebration of where South Africa is today. The subtle juxtapositions in this photograph really speak for triumph. The sport of golf has forever been synonymous with colonial rule, money, wealth, elitism, old, white and male. This photograph challenges all those notions in one frame. Young, black, bold, inspiring, talent, inclusion and hope. The gaze of his peers speaks for their admiration and the encouragement of the club manager speaks for that progress in which we as South Africans should be proud. It's these nuances where true victory and freedom can be observed.
Photography gives me access to connect and learn more about people and culture, in turn teaching me more about myself and the world I live in. This is my approach, to engage, to learn and make something significant come from this, where story, art or history may be shared. Photography is extremely impactful, and in an image-saturated society I believe it is important to celebrate and share powerful story-driven photography.
— Ollie Walker
Tender Photo is collaborating with Through The Lens Collective to present photographs from Post-Card Africa, a project designed to create new and insightful responses to the history of African representation through photography. Images such as Ollie Walker’s “Pondolandia,” taken in South Africa, evoke a new local archive, by approaching creative agency and shared opportunity for local representation as an important framework for actively engaging the continent’s very complex history and representation. Read more about the project here.
About Ollie Walker
Ollie Walker (born 1986) is a South African born photographer and videographer. His documentary approach involves human and fictional narratives. After living abroad for 16 years he has returned to his home country and is slowly rediscovering his own identity within the complex and multicultural space of Southern Africa. Follow his work on Instagram, on his website, and see his shortlisted work in Portrait of Humanity (Vol. 5).
Last Week — “A Memory Lasts a Lifetime,” by Fibi Afloe
I started to reflect on the relationship we had. I remembered that throughout the burial service I didn’t take any photo that would serve as a memory of our relationship. So, I thought of taking photos at the beach where I was walking. Now this image reminds me of Sister Yayira; it is a memory I have of her which will live with me for a lifetime.
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This is the 64th edition of this publication.
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