Photographer Anthony Bila explains how his work with the collective, the Sartists, explores the separation of ‘class’ in South Africa and how certain parts of Joburg have irrevocably changed.

I worked with the Sartists who styled themselves for the shoot. We used two locations, Alexandra and Hillbrow. Both are filled with working-class individuals and the interesting thing with Hillbrow is that it was once an affluent area where only the wealthy lived before it became derelict. I wanted to show the dichotomy between blue-collar and white-collar workers using the Sartists as the subjects/models.

The reality of South Africa’s youth unemployment is a real issue, a critical one that needs addressing and this is another reason I felt the need to do this series. The unemployment statistics in South Africa speak for themselves, especially amongst young people. It’s meant the economic oppression/apartheid of many young people as it excludes them from opportunity and the right to escape a seemingly impossible situation of poverty.

Photography and art direction by Anthony Bila

Models: Wanda Lephoto and Kabelo Kungwane

Styling by the Sartists

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