It Must Be Built From Ashes

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Justin's work reviews formal structures of image-making after a history of documentary realism in South Africa. His Cape Town based project, It Must Be Built From Ashes, challenges the mainstream media portrayal of Mitchells Plain and the Cape Flats, creating an intimate social dialogue with communities and their youth. Mitchells Plain, on the outskirts of Cape Town, is a purpose-built relocation area that developed following forced removals from Cape Town’s inner-city during the country’s apartheid regime. The project evaluates the notion of citizenship and place-related identity in breaking down historical constructs — creating a renewed visual economy for the area and its people. Justin captures the diversity of Mitchells Plain through nurturing relationships that explore interpretations of home and our sense of belonging — depicting children and young adults as they search for meaning in this world. Justin's work aims to confront the ethics of viewership in South Africa, questioning our global presence in the production of the postcolony whilst interpreting a sense of self in modern-day South Africa.

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Being for the Other

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Being for the Other centres on an unarmed, all-women anti-poaching unit combatting illegal wildlife trafficking in South Africa's Kruger area. The unit was initiated as an educational response to discourage young people in local communities from entering the dangerous poaching industry, and as a way of mobilising alternative forms of employment. Justin’s work looks at the socially-embedded aspects contributing to the perpetuation of poaching in South Africa, shining a light on an alternative approach that focuses on widespread community impact through the individual. Justin’s work gives a voice to the people affected by poaching, forming relationships and exploring communities’ history with land entitlement at a time when politicised claims and repatriation in a post-colonial context are commonplace in South Africa.

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Portlands High

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Justin's personal work explores concepts of identity and representation in South Africa, reviewing the ethics of photographic practice and its impact for contemporary art. His projects Being for the Other and It Must Be Built From Ashes construct narratives that reflect on South Africa as a postcolony. Justin's new work looks at the importance of the family archive for interpreting visual media in contemporary contexts — exploring personal relationships with colonial histories in South Africa. Currently in London, he continues his practice as part of a research-based Master's degree. Represented by Galerie Number 8 — Brussels

Awards / Exhibitions


Photo London Digital — Galerie Number 8
Der Grief — Guest Room with Marie Gomis-Trezise
Athens Photo Festival — Shortlisted
TIP x EMOP — Group Show Berlin
Sony World Photography Awards — Group Show London
LensCulture Exposure Awards — Group Show New York City
Through The Lens Collective — Group Show Johannesburg


Photo Vogue Festival 'A Glitch in the System' — Group Show Milan
The Independent Photographer — Group Show Barcelona & Berlin
Life Framer — Group Show London & Milan
Lucie Foundation Photo Taken Grant — Shortlisted
Life Framer Youthhood — Shortlisted
Lucie Foundation MOPLA — Group Show Los Angeles


BJP Portrait of Britain — Shortlisted
AOP Student Awards — Group Show London
Saatchi Young Artist Prize — Group Show London

Features / Publications


Booooooom — 'It Must Be Built From Ashes'
Paper Journal — 'It Must Be Built From Ashes'
Zero Nine Magazine — 'It Must Be Built From Ashes'
The Independent Photographer — Talents of the Year
Nataal — 'Double Act' Blessing Ngobeni & Teresa Kutala Firmino
Musée Magazine — Photo Journal Monday
Nataal — Ayanda Mabulu
Nataal — Victoria Yards Johannesburg
Nataal — Lance Lightyear Cape Town
GUP Fresh Eyes
Life Framer Collection
HERE Magazine


Oath Magazine — South Africa
ArtPremium — Art Basel Miami
YWYW Magazine
The Independent Photographer — Talents of the Year
It's Nice That
Fresh Eyes x GUP Magazine — New European Photography
Untitled — Curated by Henry Jay Kamara x Vibbar


Portrait of Britain — BJP x Hoxton Mini Press
Float Magazine
Aint-Bad Magazine

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