Earl Abrahams

My Identity: Coloured In

My Identity is a photographic exhibition accomplished by the second residency of Amplify Studio during the AIR Program with the young talented South African photographers, Wandie and Earl.

“My Identity” is a group show ( taking place on Thursday, 3rd August), curated by Elodye Davids and George Reeves, that will open its doors with a talk by Ernestine White, Cape Town based South African artist and currently the curator of Contemporary Art at Iziko’s South African National Gallery.

The theme to my body of work is title ‘Coloured In’.

Coloured In: Chapter 1 


‘Coloured In’ is an introspective project where Earl Abrahams explored the spacial and the racial segregation that was created by the passing of the Group Areas Act under the Apartheid Regime. Where all non-white people were forced to relocate to designated areas that many refer to as concentration camps. It was these very camps that informed Earl’s formation of identity as well as the imposed ideology prevalent throughout his formative years. It was in this space where he found his identity and that of his community: Coloured In. 

 The spacial constructs of apartheid in the City of Cape Town, the architecture and aesthetics, evidently remain much the same in the communities where the images are captured; namely: Manenberg, Ocean View, Bonteheuwel, Athlone and Vygieskraal. The outskirts remain ,in majority, colored and black while the city bowl and Atlantic Sea Board remain predominantly white with rising property mark-ups guarding the maintenance of the status quo.

Earl delves into the community in which he was raised , Bonteheuwel, to explore again ideas relating to his identity in relation to his own community and those he has chosen to document. His intention to unearth the struggle, resilience and fortitude of the faces with whom he spent twenty-seven years of his life before moving into the city. ‘Coloured In’ engages in the personification of faces that a capitalist society has deemed redundant; faces that have character, identity and purpose. These faces live, each life bears a story and each story its individual scars. 

‘Coloured In’ is part evidence of one of the many individuals colouring outside of the lines, and encouraging others to do the same. Ones who acknowledge and yet refuse to be consumed by the inequalities of the system and rather choosing through their work to emancipate those they document. The purpose of this project is to add to the discourse of true active citizenship. To serve as a reminder to those who have fallen into systematic delusions and for those who impose them: The mould will be broken. 

It is Earl’s endeavor to unify individuals who ‘colour outside of the lines’ and create spaces and opportunities where we can ‘colour in together’ and most importantly exist as equals who have the freedom to eradicate these injustices and encourage accountability.

If you have any questions regarding this exhibition, please do not hesitate to contact via email on abrahams.earl1@gmail.com.

Peace & Love,

Earl

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