Ryan Cookson – Tell Them About Me

Ryan Cookson, Tell Them About Me (Knowledge Editions, 2018)

Tell Them About Me is a photographic series exploring car culture in Soweto and the surrounding areas of Johannesburg, South Africa. In the late-80s, BMW’s E30 models, specifically the 325i, became notorious through its association with criminal culture. These cars – known locally as ‘gusheshe’ – were often spun in circles both as an expression of skill and as means of honouring the dead at funerals.

By the early-90s, this expression of gangster flamboyance morphed into a motorsport championed by the South African people – and it’s still practised throughout the country today.

Inspired by amateur videos of car spinners, Melbourne-based photographer Ryan Cookson travelled to Johannesburg twice – once in 2016 and again in 2017 – to document the participants of this unique motorsport.

The resulting images have been collated and presented by  Knowledge Editions in the form of a 108-page book. The publication also features a 24-page research archive of stills taken from amateur videos and a dual-purpose book jacket that folds into a 50 x 70cm poster designed by New York-based artist Hassan Rahim.