jump to navigation

Ilan Godfrey April 23, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.

Hillbrow Housing Projects, Johannesburg

Ilan Godfrey (b. 1980) was born in Johannesburg and is currently based in London. He holds a BA in Photography and a MA in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster. He is the recipient of the David Faddy Scholarship and the Ivan Kyncl Memorial Photography Placement. His work is held in several private collections and has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in London, including the Getty Gallery, Guardian Newsroom Gallery and at the Photoplus Expo, New York. Ilan has won a number of awards including first prize, West Photography Award and at the Magenta Flash Forward. His work has also been featured in the HP/CARE ‘I am Powerful’ campaign.

About the Photograph:

“I recall my visits to Hillbrow as a young boy as an exciting day out. But as the years past it became a no go area. Today Hillbrow has become one of the most dangerous parts of the city of Johannesburg where crimes are on the rise. Part of the reason is that criminals and illegal immigrants come from other regions of Africa to take advantage of South Africa’s economic stability and make areas of Hillbrow their home. A friend of mine that works in Johannesburg was able to contact several people living in Hillbrow. Without knowing someone living within each building I could not gain access due to security precautions. As the project gained momentum, the word spread and we began contacting other people that invited us to see where they lived.”


1. Rick - October 2, 2008

Great Image Ilan

2. Philip - October 24, 2009

I’m a white Brit and have spent a lot of time in Jozi – mainly between 1996 and 2006. I lived and worked there as a teacher trainer. In the 90’s, I used to go to Hillbrow for a street haircut. I used to get out of my taxi – and immediately, out of nowhere, guys came towards me – not to attack me or to offer me a haircut but to sell me something else.
My black friends wouldn’t allow me to walk the streets of Hillbrow but I would sneak off there anyway and walk to Yeoville for Saturday lunch.
I suppose my Hillbrow = walking (my route to Yeoville) and haircuts. I never had any problems as I passed through. Maybe it was my attitude, maybe luck. Whatever, your photos brought back very good memories of times I spent in Jozi with people I really cared about and miss very much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s