Cape Town photographic tours with David Rogers in Woodstock

Photography walks in Woodstock Cape Town are an opportunity right on our doorstep.

On Saturday afternoon, as the busy streets of one of Cape Town’s oldest suburbs became subdued, David Rogers, Jon-Erik Munro and three school boys  joined Shadeed Haroun, of Juma Tours, for a photo walk through the hood.

The photography walk in Woodstock was full of surprises. We learned that before the building of the Foreshore in the 50s, Woodstock had a beach and had been a fashionable seaside resort with a pier that served the tall ships that moored in Table Bay. We saw the old beer bottling plant which kept British troops sustained with their favourite tipple during the war and learned that during the day it is now full of start up computer geeks.woodstock art photographic David Rogers

Woodstock, which was once the third largest settlement in South Africa and became the focus of  Cape Town’s burgeoning trade in clothing and light industry, has, like many urban fringe settlements became prone to decay and renewal. Since the 90s many of the pretty Victorian homes have been bought up by young entrepreneurs and the area has become a fashionable hub. Unfortunately the process of gentrification means many poorer residents are now at risk of losing their homes.

The  juxtaposition of rich and poor, employed and unemployed was reflected in the humble purple and yellow cottages alongside hip office blocks, art galleries, tech start-ups, modeling agencies, restaurants, coffee shops, surfboard shops, and a doggie creche.woodstock art photographic David Rogers

It was quiet on the streets on a Saturday afternoon. The  hipsters and computer geeks had left their offices. We walked past old ladies clutching bags, addicts thinking about their next fix and young boys on skateboards. But empty of cars and people, what struck us most was the art. Spray-painted on the crumbling walls were electrifying artistic messages of anti-violence, anti-gentrification, conservation, acceptance and tolerance. With the familiar backdrop of Table Mountain rising up above these long narrow streets, and surrounded by  the heady art of swimming elephants,  zebra-men we picked our way past forgotten turds,  discarded bottles and weeds and flower that emerged from the cracked streets.

 

 

Shaheed’s home was a small double story, that thumped with music from his rasta neighbour. It overflowing with memorabilia and every bit had its own story.  “I love upcycling”, he said. Framed on the wall is a black and white camera on brown paper — an up-cycled carrier bag from Orms Photographic.

woodstock photo walk, photos and africa

“If we had time, I could teach us  how to make traditional Malay food,” he said. “My guests love that.”

But our time was running out.

woodstock art photographic David Rogers

90 minutes into the walk, it was time to say goodbye. Shaheed kissed our hands.

“ Stay away from drugs!” he says to the boys.  “It doesn’t matter who you are, they will all take you down to the same place, where you are less than an animal.

“That was so cool,” said the boys as we drove away. “Wished we could have stayed for samoosas!”