Painting Over the Present by Graeme Williams

View all 13 Photos

Is it a sign of denial or is it sign of hope? This duality, as presented in Graeme Williams’s photo-essay Painting Over the Present, portrays the destitution that has stricken some South African communities as a result of political and economic shifts. The colorful homes, though humble in size, echo two voices. While vibrantly banded textiles wave in the wind and the lime green siding of a house jumps out from the gray terrain, these splashes of energy nevertheless seem lonely. There is a fleeting sense of existence in the Williams’s photographs that is just as tentative as it is tenacious. And so, the emergence of color is far from a white flag of defeat and desperation. In any case, such a flag would be dyed with hues equally as vivid as the yellows, lavenders, and pinks that serve as a poignant cry for change and revolution.




Kimberly is a graduate from MIT's Department of Architecture, and has recently joined the publication team at MIT OpenCourseWare. While architecture remains her first love, her interests encompass literature – epic poetry and Medieval romances are her favorite – and also fashion.

Take me there

  • Design Destination: Detroit

    The coolest city on your “must-visit” list. The concepts of “revival”, “reinvention”, and “rebirth” dominate…

  • The Krane

    An immersive retreat in one of Copenhagen’s harbors. More than just a contemporary space, The…

  • Guntu Hotel

    A tranquil destination in the Seto Inland Sea. This floating hotel Japan added to its…

  • Villa Slow

    A special hotel designed to be a home away from home. Nestled into a bucolic…

More for you

  • Lux Noctis By Reuben Wu

    A fascinating photography series. Any good photographer understands how light can make or break an…

  • KOLA By Céline Clanet

    Capturing the beauty and many facets of a mysterious landscape. Fascinated by the European Arctic,…

  • Vicente Manssur’s Photography

    A series of urban stories in simple, but powerful compositions. Based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, photographer…

  • Porsche Drive By Stefan Bogner

    A must-have for automotive, photography, and travel lovers. Following on the footsteps of his previous…

  • Hasselblad’s X1D Field Kit

    Taking an iconic camera on the road. Renowned Swedish brand Hasselblad has a rich heritage….

Close Cart