Retha Ferguson is a local, Cape Town based photographer with a keen eye for documentary portraits that bring subcultures or areas to light that most people might not notice or perhaps think less of. Watching her oeuvre grow, you can see the emotion she has for her subjects and how her images bring their humanity to the fore and remind us that they exist. That being said, Ferguson’s work is not cheesy or overly sentimental. Her work is at once earnest and artful.
Here we are sharing some images from her ‘Voortrekker Road’ series, where she has examined what Voortrekker Road means to Cape Town. But instead of putting words in her mouth, read her artist’s statement about the project:
Stretching 17 kilometres, alongside the railway line from Salt River to Bellville, Voortrekker Road trails the vestiges of a society in flux. Named after the single most important component in the folk memory of Afrikaner Nationalism, and once a shopping hub for white South Africans, today the road harbours a diverse economy and provides a haven for foreign nationals from all over Africa and the Middle East. Working class black South Africans, white South Africans and immigrants from numerous countries transact in business contracts on a daily basis. This project is a study on the complexities at play in a community and how this community relates to an outdated name with ambiguous historical connotations.