In 2014, twenty years after democracy, three young South African photographers travelled throughout their homeland to examine to what extent Nelson Mandela’s vision had been achieved.
The year was a significant one to make a journey of personal and societal inquiry into what it means to be a South African; The nation’s guardian “Tata” Nelson Mandela had most recently passed away, a new young and energetic political party had recently emerged in the EFF, and the 2014 National Elections were imminent.
Each photographer focused on a particular theme:
Wikus de Wet, an Afrikaner from Bloemfontein, looked to discover the relationship between land and the people who occupy it.
Sipho Mpongo, a Xhosa from Nqamakwe, documented the ‘Born Free’ generation – those born after the fall of Apartheid.
Sean Metelerkamp, an English-speaking South African from Knysna, sought to capture the idiosyncrasies – the alien and absurd realities of his country.
The diversity of each photographers’ cultural background, experience and chosen theme, collects fragments that together frame the realities of contemporary South Africa.
Twenty Journey was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign wherein 134 backers pledged $12,402.
Stretched out over 7 months, this sum enabled the photographers to travel in a motor-home and reflect the magnificently puzzled country that binds them.
A brief video introduction:
TWENTY JOURNEY BOOK
A collection of stories, paraphernalia and photos from the Twenty Journey
Nominated for Design Indaba’s ‘Most Beautiful Object In South Africa’ in 2015
First Edition limited to 250 copies (sold out)
Published in August 2015
Design and layout by Hanno van Zyl
Edited by Sarah-Claire Picton
Size: 260 x 182mm
Feature length documentary.
Winner of the Best South African Documentary at Durban International Film Festival.
The Journeymen is set in 2014, the year in which South Africa celebrated twenty years of democracy and mourned Nelson Mandela’s death. The film chronicles the journey of three South African photographers (Sean Metelerkamp, Sipho Mpongo and Wikus de Wet) across the country as they explore the current state of South Africa with GoPro cameras strapped to their chests, feeling its pulse and asking the question “Has Mandela’s vision of equality in a rainbow nation been achieved?” The film poses this question with a kaleidoscopic set of responses that is disturbing, beautiful, thought provoking and, more than anything, movingly surreal. The film shows the underlying demons of our troubled national soul but also its deep and profound beauty. Made with technology that is widely accessible, the film is also a vibrant call to arms for new modes of film-making and fresh approaches to narrative.
– Durban International Film Festival press release.
Director: Sean Metelerkamp
Cinematographer: Sipho Mpongo, Wikus de Wet, Sean Metelerkamp
Editor: Sean Metelerkamp
Producer: Jolynn Minnaar
Executive Producer: Dylan Voogt at Stage 5 Films
Language: English, Xhosa, Zulu, Venda, Afrikaans with English subtitles
(currently on the film festival circuit).