Muntu Vilakazi: The Politics of Bling: An Eastrand Culture Quest

GoetheonMain, Johannesburg, South Africa
06 Feb 2014 - 16 Mar 2014

Muntu Vilakazi describes his new body of work as follows:

‘This is a photographic story that looks at the rise of the black middle class as South Africa approaches 20 years as a democracy. It focuses specifically on the lifestyles of young black people in areas that still experience vast underdevelopment and a high rate of unemployment.

It’s a tale of high spending by extravagant youths who live it up amid rampant poverty. The show observes their ideas of progress against a society that sees them as counter-progressive. It is a story of fast cars, fashion, alcohol, ‘girls’ and music.

This project focuses on three townships in the east of Johannesburg, mainly Katlehong, Vosloorus and Kwa-Thema. The East Rand pales by comparison with the hectic pace, glitz, glamour and nightlife of Jozi as well as Soweto, however there is a prevalent deep house, motor bike and drag racing culture that commands a significant following.

While apartheid regulations have long been repealed, the geographic realities of past regimes continue to colour the character of contemporary South African spaces. The show goes beyond a generalised view to discover how township culture in the East Rand is distinct from that found in other parts of the land.’


Walkabout with the artist on 16 February 2014, 11am
GoetheonMain, 245 Main Street, Maboneng Precinct






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