LIVING WITH CRIME
By the 1990s, the term “culture of violence” was frequently used to describe the conflict that shrouded South African society. The nature of this violence bled into all parts of public life, undermining the ethical, and social fabric of society.
Race also remains a major forecaster of violence in South Africa. There is a popular perception mainly held by white South Africans that the wealthy are more affected by crime than the poor. This is partly true, the rich are twice as likely to be victimised usually due to property related crimes, than the poor, but the poverty-stricken are nearly 80 times more likely to die or get hurt by crime. Social inequality and deprivation caused by the apartheid system are at the root of most violence in South Africa.
The majority of South African’s view the criminal justice system with suspicion and scepticism. Forty-one percent of South African’s would either "never" or "hardly ever" trust the police to investigate a crime or catch criminals. The lack of faith in the criminal justice system by many wealthy South Africans has lead to increasing numbers of citizens turning to private security companies for their policing needs. It is estimated that the private security industry in South Africa has grown from R 141 million in 1978 to R 8 billion currently.
Through my work and in collaboration with the subjects I photograph, they will have the opportunity to express their feelings of sadness and anger as they struggle to come to terms with the psychological and emotional impact of their loss and that their current structural situation remains unchanged for instance the architectural environment in which they live and the constant worry of recurring crime.
What this series of images represent are various communities in South Africa that have been affected by crime, who have survived a terrible ordeal or have had to live with the loss of a loved one due to a crime related incident.