It Must Be Built From Ashes, challenges the South African mainstream media portrayal of Mitchells Plain and the Cape Flats, creating an intimate social dialogue with communities and their youth to explore interpretations of home and a sense of belonging. Mitchells Plain, on the outskirts of Cape Town, is a purpose-built relocation area that developed following forced removals from Cape Town’s inner-city during the country’s apartheid regime. The project evaluates the notion of citizenship and place-related identity — challenging theories of representation to create a renewed visual economy for the area and its people. Justin’s work aims to confront the ethics of viewership in South Africa by questioning our global presence in the production of a postcolony, whilst interpreting a sense of self in modern-day South Africa.
Justin Keene (b. 1989) is a documentary photographer based between the UK and South Africa. He holds an MA from The University of Edinburgh and is currently on a part-time Documentary Photography Master’s at the University of South Wales. As part of Justin’s research-based practice, his current body of work examines family archives and their connection to South Africa’s mining industry — exploring the dominant industry’s effect on both social and physical landscapes in the country.
His personal work has previously been featured online for Nataal, It’s Nice That, Life Framer and Aint-Bad, and in selected group shows and publications: LensCulture; Sony World Photo; BJP’s Portrait of Britain; New European Photography x GUP; The Lucie Foundation; The Independent Photographer and The Photo Vogue Festival.