“Youth of Cape Town”
Nick van Tiem shines a light on diversity in Cape Town youth culture.
Nick van Tiem graduated in 2015 as a documentary photographer from the Royal Academy. Using photography to explore new cultures, and his own interpretations and misinterpretations of the world, his latest work, Youngsters of Cape Town, portrays a variety of creatives met previously in South Africa. Adopting a documentary approach, the subjects were given the opportunity to represent themselves how they wanted to be seen.
In those short yet intimate moments they were able to capture what it means to be young in Cape Town, in a youth culture so frustrated from being ignored and with the relentless knocking of water shortage at the door. Whether it be that of a young man hoping to develop his own streetwear brand, an actor chasing dreams and moving to Berlin to join a theatre group or the first male albino model, the work draws of the beauty of the individual: each individual is creating their own personal story and following their dreams. Projected predominantly in the form of clothing highly inspired by Western influences, the work feels very intimate, the honesty of the representation shimmering from the surface of each portrait.
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