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Photographer Alex Zalewska on the spirit of Ubuntu alive in South Africa's townships

By: stagedoorscribbler - June 11, 2018

Alex's photographs explore post-apartheid life in the South African townships.

We were thrilled to see the compassion and power of the human spirit portrayed in a searching new photographic project called simply Ubuntu.

Photographer Alex Zalewska is a graduate from University Of The Arts London who, for the past ten years has been travelling the world capturing the beauty of our planet and the unity between all beings. 

The Ubunto project grew from her desire to explore post-apartheid life in South Africa’s black communities.  Acutely aware that these proud and courageous people still deal with endemic violence, extreme economic hardship and racism on a daily basis she aimed to show how, despite their difficult lives, they maintain their dignity, hope and courage.

Ubuntu in Zulu means ‘Humanity’ and is often used in a more philosophical sense meaning - “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”. 

Shot in the township of Warrville just outside Johannesburg, Alex’s photographs convey the message of unity and kindness she discovered while working on her project. 

As the only white person in the township, despite all the universally known stereotypes and prejudice, she says she never felt excluded or alienated. 

The compassion and respect Alex received from the people she photographed made her want to tell their story to those, whose views on post-apartheid South Africa and townships are based on media-generated lies and prejudgement. 

She says: “There is an intense, profound beauty to be found in the fight those people face each day and it can only be understood if we look beyond the racial and economical differences created by our society.”

For 27-year-old Alex there is a secondary purpose for her Ubuntu photographs. Proceeds from their sale will go to the charity Solving Kids’ Cancer which she is hoping will be able to fund treatment for her partner’s four years old unofficial niece, Jossie, who last year was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an extremely rare form of cancer. Jossie needs treatment that is only available in the US and costs hundreds of thousands pounds.

Alex set up a fundraising page which offers people the chance to donate whatever they can and also the possibility to buy photographs from her photo projects from both South Africa and India. All proceeds will go directly to 

Solving Kids' Cancer, the charity that is looking after Jossie.

Here is the link to the page and all the information:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fundraisingforjossie

For purchase and any other enquiries please email alex.zalewska1@gmail.com or visit www.alexzalewska.co.uk