Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

Roger Ballen's Photography of Rural South Africa.

Photographer Roger Ballen took this photo of Dresie and Casie, a twin brother from West Transvaal, as featured in his book: Platteland: Images from Rural S. Africa. - via Jaf Project

Geezus H Christ....I took a look at the link and was shocked. The folks in the Platteland make the country folk back home in the South look like supermodels. WTF? Is this a result of inbreeding or what? Scary scary scary looking people....
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
It's not just breeding, malnutrition played a part. It's a harsh life.

I was there from age 6 to age 23. No, I'm not sorry I left! My fellow Brits used to call the Afrikaners "Rocks", and it wasn't a compliment. Every school vacation they'd throw themselves down from the Highveld to the Natal coast, an event known as the Rockslide...

PS: "Platteland" translated from Afrikaans is "Flatland". As two-dimensional as it sounds.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Apologies for being pedantic, but a correction to the post left by BrianT...

Literally translation for "platteland" would be flatland.

In context however, it means countryside.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I guess photographer Roger Ballen's goal was to make the most unflattering portraits possible of South Africa's white trash population. Judging by this photograph he certainly succeeded...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Yes, they do seem somewhat unflattering. I suppose the Diane Arbus school of freakshow photography will never die. In my eyes it is an immature photographer who seeks out these types of easy hits. When we start out we all shoot old people with lots of wrinkles, and tramps with torn faces. Eventually, hopefully, we learn to see the freaks inside ourselves instead.

For more great fun at other people's expenses, Google "Shelby Lee Adams".
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I think these pictures are sort of beautiful actually. Especially the woman so sweetly holding the puppies. These people have obviously had a rough life and the diversity of humankind is kind of wondrous, if sometimes seemingly a bit tragic.

Although Greg Smith's comment was pretty funny.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Wynand Winterbach:

You've got some nerve talking about the "prejudiced" British in SA, and the poor, poor Afrikaners. Because we all know the Afrikaners in South Africa have never bestowed prejudice upon anyone; especially not the Black South Africans!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
It may come as a shock to you dear Vanessa that the British descendants in South Africa wholeheartedly supported and benefited from Apartheid as well. The British were just better at hiding their prejudice.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Shame on you publishing these boys the same for the author, these two look as if they're from a mental hospital! and that's no joke. Poor people from the rural country side don't look like them...I grew up there and even if the country side is big, you will not see men/youngsters like this...i think this pic was taken from somewhere in Europe and for the sake of his book published as if it's SA. Those men don't have the characteristics of SA men!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I made a drawing of this a while back based on a magazine article on an unrelated subject, it is nice to source the original.
I was drawn to the element of cariacature initially which is as strong in the buildings as it is in the portraits & I feel is the strength of these images.
To view my version:
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 24 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"Roger Ballen's Photography of Rural South Africa."

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More