Startling Drone Footage Captures the Stark Disparity Between Two South African Neighborhoods

Unequal Scenes portrays scenes of inequality in South Africa from the air.

South African photographer Johnny Miller has created Unequal Scenes, a drone-centered project that takes a look at inequality from above. In one such project, Miller flew his drone over the Cape Town neighborhood of Masiphumelele and the smaller, wealthier Lake Michelle. What the footage revealed was that while the two townships were separated only by a simple wetland strip, the economic disparity between the two was so great that they could have been hundreds of miles away from each other.

22 years after the end of apartheid, many of these barriers, and the inequalities they have engendered, still exist. Oftentimes, communities of extreme wealth and privilege will exist just meters from squalid conditions and shack dwellings. …Sandwiched within the “Sun Valley” communities is Masiphumelele. There are approximately 38000 people living there, many in small tin shacks. There is no police station, only one small day clinic, and it’s estimated that up to 35% of the population is infected with HIV or TB (Wikipedia + Masicorp). Fires are common in winter, which sweep through the shacks, sometimes displacing residents by the hundreds. Moreover, the entire community of 38000 is accessed by only one single exit/entrance. Across a narrow wetlands, the community of Lake Michelle is surrounded by an electrified fence and accessed through a guardhouse. Current prices on real estate sites put their value at several million rands..

via F-Stoppers, PetaPixel

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.