David Lurie. Encounters at the Edge. December 6, 2012. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bekris Gallery San Francisco
Cape Town, South Africa, mirrors the problems facing other cities in the developing world. Mass movement from the countryside has given rise to informal settlements consisting of sprawling squatter camps where urbanization is disconnected from industrialization and economic growth.
In Encounters at the Edge photographer David Lurie attempts to distill his observations of lives lived on the precipice of existence in informal settlements at the edge of Cape Town. He asks that his viewers consider statistics from the United Nations which show that nearly 15 per cent of the world’s population lives in such settlements, meaning that much of the increase in world population is occurring in them as well. Through his portraits and landscapes Lurie demonstrates that, left to their own devices, people will find a way to survive and create community. But he advocates for a much more considered approach to urbanization and for political intervention to avoid its associated ills.
Trained as an economist, David Lurie took up the camera in 1990. Since then he has received numerous awards for his trenchant work. Lurie is the author of several books including Life in the Liberated Zone, Cape Town Fringe: Manenberg is Where it’s Happening, Images of Table Mountain and the soon to be released Fragments From the Edge.