Coloured lens : a study of the socio-cultural context of Wentworth in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, towards a photographic documentary
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Social issues are a very real problem in South Africa. Violent protests in poorer communities around South Africa indicate a need to better understand negative social realities impacting on communities. This research examined the sociocultural context of Wentworth in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, as shown on the map on page x. The focus of this study was the social and community realities; and the significance of photography in the context of examining these. The aim was to use photography as a research tool as well as to document the data collected. From the data a 118-page book, as shown on page viii, was conceptualised, which captures this community’s social context. Further, the study questioned the use of design practice to support social change. Because of the distinctly “Coloured” nature of Wentworth, literature was sought for the definition, history, current dynamics and complexities of Coloured identity. The literature review highlighted ethics and the strategies that should be adhered to when considering the social nature of photography. For this inquiry a qualitative analysis was conducted using the Grounded Theory method. A collaborative, or participatory research approach, was used for data collection, by working closely with families and health, church and non-governmental groups in Wentworth. Qualitative data collection methods used to gather primary data were photographic documentation and interviews. This research produced a number of key findings regarding socio-cultural problems plaguing the community. Findings deemed photography a rich tool for researching the social and for accurately recording everyday life. The main conclusions drawn from this research were that in-depth studies be conducted on individual problems, utilising greater manpower and funding. In addition, that further research and documentation be undertaken in the community.