People and buildings have always fascinated Robert Nzaou. Having lived in Cape Town for more than 8 years, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the African Continent, his fascination for old and modern architecture, people of different color, origins and backgrounds, was ignited and he started observing the movement of people and the stillness of buildings.
In the summer of 2015 he ventured out on the streets of Cape Town in the early mornings and late afternoons to start recording these moments highlighting the relationship between the people themselves and their surroundings.
A few weeks after starting work on the project, Robert was confronted by the fact that there is a disconnect, a rush, an obliviousness and a sense of loneliness in all big cities. He set out to document those moments in pictures.
In Robert’s words, “Large cities can often seem like big oceans with people swimming in the tides; the traffic goes left and right, up and down. Low tide, high tide, everything goes; nobody seems to really know where they’re headed and why. Scared of predators, it gets lonely in these cities, each to his own; trust nobody. High rise buildings, advertising boards and street signs seem to be the only loyal companions. People seem to be swallowed by these immense spaces so much so that they lose connection with themselves and others, one can have a feeling that someone is out there to get them, and so as people we keep marching, running from ourselves and others, never pausing, always moving between places, through spaces.
It seems as if humankind doesn’t know how to slow down anymore, to just stop and look around, to appreciate life and feel ourselves part of the larger reality. It is as if we are going nowhere in a constant stream of movement.” Robert makes use of the architecture, spaces and light found in a place, to show a very real relationship between the spaces and the people, even in their seeming unconsciousness of their unique role in the life of a particular place.
About the author:
Robert Nzaou-Kissolo was born in Congo Brazzaville in 1976 and first left Congo for South Africa in 2001 as a refugee. Returning home for the first time in 2010 he found a country filled with vibrancy, colour and a unique and beautiful perspective on life. Not owning a camera at that point, he borrowed friends’ cameras and quickly started telling stories through photography. He has been published in various blogs and magazines such as Sawubona and Le Monde with solo exhibitions in Pointe Noire(2015) and Cape Town( September 2016). He now lives and works between Cape Town and Pointe Noire.