In this incisive and wide-ranging series, Jason Larkin explores the vast waste dumps created by Johannesburg's once powerful gold mining industry. His images of life on and around the city's incongruous man-made hills, territory where history, economy and contemporary South Africa collide, shed light on some of the most challenging questions facing the country today.
Photographing the landscape and people affected by these toxic monuments, Jason highlight's the ignored realities of these spaces, and the denial of the complicated legacy that Africa's most successful mining story has left behind. Living in Johannesburg for over two years to complete this body of work, Jason brings a comprehensive viewpoint on a forgotten aspect of Johannesburg and captures the undeniable and quiet interaction that occurs between these man-made toxic spaces and the functioning of a 21st century urban center.
Alongside these photographs are old archival images, original etchings by artist Ester Svensson and phrases from an old Fanagalo dictionary, an old pidgin language developed for and still used in South Africa's mines. Essays by South African based writer Mara Kardas-Nelson and the photography academic Julian Rodriguez, bring further context and historical consideration to the work.