Tue 30 July 2013

New online in June & July… to look at

© stefan möhlThe young German photographer Stefan Möhl has made a series of 24 photos for citybooks in Stellenbosch. Under the title of Nighthawks, Möhl shows us the everyday nightlife of Stellenbosch. He followed private guards on patrol, met homeless people and parking lot attendants and saw the nightly calm in the gated communities.

"My series of photographs Nachtschwärmer (Nighthawks) is made up of impressions of life on the streets of Stellenbosch at night. Unlike the majority of South African cities, Stellenbosch is characterised for its relatively lively nightlife. The old city centre is often full of students in cafés and tourists window-shopping. Because of this, Stellenbosch is sometimes thought of as a 'European' city.

At the same time, Stellenbosch is often accused of being a city sealed off in its own bubble, a sheltered place that separates itself from the rest of the country. If you visit Stellenbosch, you’ll pass many different gated communities, and you’ll no doubt come across cars operated by private security firms, patrolling the city’s streets day and night.

© stefan möhl

As a photographer I followed just such a group of private security guards. I was interested in what happens on the streets at night. By capturing impressions of their work, I wanted to show something about daily life in Stellenbosch, something about the city’s closed and isolated aspect. During my nightly trips I met more than a few people that call the streets home: those without brick-and-mortar houses to call their own and car park attendants, for instance. Together, the photos that make up Nighthawks offer a sense of the ‘daily nightlife’ of Stellenbosch.

(Stefan Möhl)

Photos © Stefan Möhl


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