Tuesday, 29 June 2010 02:00
Bicycle PortraitsBy Stan Engelbrecht & Nic Grobler
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The 'Bicycle Portraits' project was initiated by Stan Engelbrecht (Cape Town, South Africa) and Nic Grobler (Johannesburg, South Africa) early in 2010. Whenever they can, together or separately, they're on the lookout for fellow commuters, and people who use bicycles as part of their everyday work, to meet and photograph. They're finding out who rides bicycles, why they ride bicycles, if and why they love their bicycles, and of course why so few South Africans choose bicycles as a transport option. There is no specific range of questions asked, they'd rather just establish a conversation around the rider's life and where his or her bicycle fits into it. Looking at individuals through their, sometimes unconscious, involvement in bicycle culture, they will inadvertently touch on many charged issues like the implementation of public space, lack of infrastructure development and also social problems like class division and unequal wealth distribution, but also perhaps bring those unfamiliar to each other together in their love for a simple thing... Being avid cyclists themselves, this project is as much an investigation into South African bicycle culture as it is an excuse for them to ride their bikes and take photographs. Go to www.bicycleportraits.co.za to see this constantly growing, frequently updated project and discover a true profile of contemporary South African bicycle commuter culture.
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