Gabriella Achadinha is a freelance production coordinator working in Cape Town, South Africa.
She dabbles in photography on the side as a passion project and has an interest in capturing emotion, nostalgia and natural beauty. Her images focus on the natural landscape and human form within various landscapes across different continents.
This stills series was shot in Lavender Hill and follows Ruiz Solomons, a promising young bodybuilder who grew up and still resides in the area. Known as the most dangerous area within the Cape Peninsula, innocent citizens/children are often killed in crossfire during gang wars.
Growing up in such a poverty-stricken environment youth often turn to either drug-related business or gangsterism.
Constable Adams, in charge of the Lavender Hill area, identified bodybuilding – specifically focusing on the competitive sport entry – as a means to divert young men from crime to sport.
Lavender Hill is a dynamic space of conflict yet innocence. Walking through the flats one is met with swarms of young children giggling and laughing, playing games of skip rope and doing homework in the sun.
I shot the series on my Nikon F-801, using a 35mm Fujicolor film.
I focused mostly on the children and their environment – the school and their homes/flats – as they lend a particular innocence to such a torn-down area. One usually associates this area with tattooed thugs, pimped-out cars and vicious dogs, but the Lavender Hill Ruiz and I explored was one of promise and youth.