Apartheid uncovered: Steve Bloom

In the mid 1970s, Steve Bloom took to the streets and townships to photograph people at a critical moment in the history of apartheid-era South Africa, when the first real cracks appeared. Beneath the Surface, part of the London festival of photography



  Afrikaans couple outside church, Paarl, 1976



Bergie, Cape Town 1976
Homeless people were known as ‘bergies’. The word is derived from the Afrikaans word ‘mountain’, because they originally found shelter on the slopes of Table Mountain. Many were addicted to methylated spirit



Cape Town, 1975


 Cape Town, 1976
An Idi Amin lookalike, wearing fake medals, takes part in a parade. The brutal Ugandan dictator was often cited by South Africans as a justification for white rule



  Crossroads, 1977

  Crossroads Squatter Camp, 1977
This sprawling slum near Cape Town airport grew out of defiance of the Group Areas Act which prohibited black city workers from living with their dependants. Shanties were built illegally, along with schools, shops and churches, by people determined not to be separated from their families. The authorities routinely demolished the houses, transporting any adult or child without a valid permit back to remote 'homelands', where jobs were scarce and survival difficult




Farm worker's child at home, Karoo, 1976

 Man and daughter, Manenberg, 1977

Riot police, Cape Town, 1976
People took to the streets to protest against the injustices of apartheid

  Segregated beach, Sea Point, Cape Town, 1976
  
  Stroke victim and his wife, Manenberg, near Cape Town, 1976

                                                Teargas, Grand Parade, Cape Town, 1976