On the 7th – 12th June 2017, Knysna burnt as gale-force berg winds carried “the perfect fire” across vast swathes of the drought-ridden Garden Route. 180 square kilometers of developed and natural land were razed to ashes in infernos intensified by large tracts of alien and fynbos growth. Six people died, 1042 homes were damaged or destroyed, hundreds of fire fighters brought in from around the country and thousands of people displaced in an area that has since been declared a disaster zone. Considered the worst natural disaster in the country as far back as we can count, it was the middle class that suffered the greatest losses including business, income, home and property and making the event a pointed yet poignant commentary on the intersections of privilege and change in what is a typically “comfortably numb” class of society. These photographs are from the remains of the interior of Sean’s father’s house. It explores the aftermath of sudden loss, beauty in destruction, and new territories in the burn scars of our belonging, with stark honesty and limited tones that give rise to a range of strange but endearing emotion new to Sean’s work.

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