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.

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Kimberly

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.

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