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Title: Coloured lens : a study of the socio-cultural context of Wentworth in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, towards a photographic documentary
Authors: Houston, Natalie 
Keywords: Community;Social;Coloureds;Photography;Documentary;Ethics and identity
Issue Date: 10-Sep-2012
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.
Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for M.Tech.: Graphic Design, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2011.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Arts and Design)

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