Monday, 7 April 2014
The Khwe/!Xho San of Platfontein
Platfontein is a community located in an arid region of the Northern Cape Province, 15km outside the town Kimberley The community consists of two San tribes, the !Xun and the Khwe who have endure much hardship as the result of being relocated during the 70's from Angola to Schmidsdrift also near Kimberley, and from there to Platfontein. The community of Platfontein also consists of other ethnic groups that complicates the San’s struggle for recognition and self determination. They found themselves between a rock and a hard place so to speak.
Young people are caught up in their struggle to come to terms with their past while at the same time facing integration into a society that do not suit them ideally, or maybe not at all. They have to face abuse, be it when they speak their language or dress in a more traditional manner. This pressure forces young people to fit in rather than to embrace their own culture. Alcohol abuse amongst young people are a growing problem. Teenagers with no job prospects or aspirations turn to alcohol to pass the time. Many spend their days idling and drinking to keep amused. Due to a lack of educational activities many young people are left with little to do. Government social services are inadequate and the quality of housing is substandard. As a result, many houses inside Platfontein are left abandoned. With very few job prospects for young Bushmen, being able to grow and provide for a family is proving harder than ever before. Their situation is not much different from other San communities in Southern Africa.
The photos below are taken from the website of Daniel Cathbert who is a documentary photographer. He managed by his photos to accurately capture the hardship these people are facing on a daily basis. We have also included some of his captions with his photos.