hello lovely walls

"Have you seen the lovely wall they have built on the Parkhurst, dear?"
This was the excited exclamation of the mother of my South African friend; she was telling me about all the sites as we passed them on our nice driving tour of Johannesburg on a sunny summer day in January 2003. Her seemingly ordinary words stuck with me for a long time. I went back to photograph the lovely walls on another sunny summer day in February 2007. In Johannesburg the walls are everywhere for security purposes. They reflect the country's history. But the people were open and welcoming; after leaving a note in their mailboxes or ringing their doorbells, they allowed me—a complete stranger—to photograph them with their walls.

One man said, "The walls are there, but we have learned to live with them. And the rest is beautiful."