Johannesburg is a city built on gold. It was founded in 1886 when settlers and immigrants began mining the largest reef of precious metal ever discovered. What had been a small farming community rapidly transformed into a mining mecca and within 50 years, over 300,000 people were working in mines across the city. The mining may have come to an end, but its environmental and social impact is still visible.
Jason Larkin lived in Johannesburg for two years, photographing a landscape of vast tailing dams – mountains of dumped toxic waste.
In his new book, Tales From The City Of Gold, Larkin combines his observations of the ordinary and extraordinary nature of life alongside the dumps. Its focus on the coexistence of the past and the present provides a unique perspective on the actions of previous generations and reveals their impact on today’s society and environment. Through this project, Larkin has worked on multiple formats for the final output, reaching different audiences both in Africa & Europe.
In a talk chaired by Francis Hodgson, they will discuss the challenges of communicating ideas and reaching audiences, as well as the various methods of output and distribution available to photographers today.
Hodgson is the professor in the Culture of Photography at the University of Brighton, photography critic of the Financial Times and a former head of the photographs department at Sotheby’s.
An exhibition of the work will be held at Flowers, 82 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DP, 20 February – 20 March 2014.
All images © Jason Larkin, courtesy Flowers, London.