PDN Photo of the Day

Shanty Town Deluxe

“Now you can experience staying in a Shanty within the safe environment of a private game reserve. This is the only Shanty Town in the world equipped with under-floor heating and wireless Internet access! The Shanty Town is ideal for team building, fancy theme parties and an experience of a lifetime.  Accommodates up to 52 guests. Our Shantys are completely safe and child friendly.” – Courtesy Emoya Luxury Hotel & Spa, Bloemfontein, The Free State, South Africa

Switzerland-born, Germany-based photographer Roger Eberhard heard about this 13-unit “luxury” shanty town experience through a South African blog last summer. A shanty, typically made of rusted corrugated iron sheets constructed to create a small living space, is anything but luxurious. Eberhard, whose previous projects include “Norma,” 34 photographs of unoccupied houses and healthy green trees a few hundred meters south of the new runways of the German headquarters of Airbus, continues to explore artificial environments with “Shanty Town Deluxe.” He tells PDN via e-mail, “I focus mainly on the facades of these places to reveal them as pictorial stereotypes. My motives are already images, formed after our perceptions.” Eberhard shot with a Polaroid Land Camera 320 from the 1960s/’70s and used expired 690 film, and slightly overexposed the film. He only photographed the shantys; there is no reference to the nearby estate or the hotel’s employees. “Imagine a Western tourist in the 1970s traveling to South Africa during the apartheid, renting a car and venturing out of the city and into a township … only close enough so the tourist could photograph the facades of the shacks from the safety of his car (safari-like) and bringing home pictures as proof of his adventurous trip.”

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