‘The Disposable peoples of Johannesburg’ by MJ Turpin

By shirtsandpepper

January 13, 2011

Category: Uncategorized


‘The Disposable peoples of Johannesburg’ by MJ Turpin

My muse takes the form of multiple inspirational people and hence, stories that inspire.

They’re the street vendors and artists of Johannesburg. Some are illegals from Zimbabwe, some are migrate labour seekers from other provinces. The key inspirational based thread for me is their guile and resilience in the face of great odds to earn an honest living no matter what and never slide down the easy buck path to begging or criminality which is an epidemic in Southern Africa.

Even though they’re hard working citizens, they’re regularly seen as a nuisance by the greater road going public and the government to a lesser degree as a disposable people, hence my choice and use of the Disposable camera to reflect their unfortunate reality and the front and back shot to reference their here today gone tomorrow nomadic/survivalist life style.

(important note: upon the sale of any of the prints a percentage will be given straight back to the respective subjects)

[click on the images for a larger view]

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5 Responses to “‘The Disposable peoples of Johannesburg’ by MJ Turpin”

  1. the series is vry well thought out, the concept is very cool and relevant but the execution is quiet disappointing, try shooting the images during a better time of the day, shooting in the middle of the day makes your images appear out of focus, badly exposed and you loose most of the drama to a flat background. try shoot morein the afternoon, just before the sun goes anytime after 3 is cool. but other than time of day its a great series.

  2. i feel the above comments are particularly unfair and quite honestly unthought through and as i friend of the photographers i would just like to say one or 2 things

    A. its all shot on a disposable camera, give the guy a break, no shutter speed adjustment, no ISO adjustment,no appeture adjustment, no choice of lense variations etc

    B. most, if not all of those guys are gone by 3 for various reasons,so this light and time of day you speak of(photography 101, thanks for that champ) is a complete luxury and quite honestly laughable.

    D. the loose, slight out of focused and harsh over exposed quility is a perfect metaphor for there day to day, street to street existance.

    E. I dont think he wanted this so called “drama” you speak off in these shots, as that would be sensationalist to degree and an unnecessary aesthetic construction (for the sake of) for their already trying existance.

    • for clark, sorry if i offended your sensibility, i thought the puting of these was for constructive critisism not to stroke ones ego, on the people on the treet i pass through the space everyday and the people stay there till late so thats no excuse, photography is a medium and its all about being able to convey your ideas intentionally so you defending him on the basis of a disposable camera is baseless, there are toomany people shooting picture bad pictures with great concepts because of that very mentality and a good idea is rare so one should do it full justice. to use a medium one should understand it. and don’t speak on behalf of people speak for your self.

  3. I think the idea and the photos are rather good.

  4. brilliant concept – love the front and back views – almost looks like cardboard cutouts. Would like to see maybe a black and white version – dont know if you get black and white disposables if not then nevermind – but great work, really good conceptually

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