The Visual Advocate Blog

Home sweet home!

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I am finally home from Cape Town, South Africa and what a trip it was! While I was there for a conference, which took most of my time, I did have a chance to sneek out and do some shooting in the mornings and evenings. Without a doubt, I spent the most time shooting in the Bo Kaap neighborhood, which turned out to be right across the street from my hotel.

As I said in my last post I was very excited about shooting in the Bo Kaap neighborhood, not only because of the vibrant colors but also the chance to interact with the Muslims living in the neighborhood. I have to say that Bo Kaap did not disappoint at all! The colors of almost all the houses were so vibrant and neon even that it almost feels like you are walking through a
3-d commercial for crayola crayons!

The people also turned out to be as bright and vibrant. One of my favorite conversations was with a 75 year old Muslim man named Mohammad Zain who I met on the last day of my trip. While his ancestors were originally from Yemen, Mohammad had lived in the same house for his entire life, which was true of many of the older residents of Bo Kaap I talked with. Anyway, Mohammad and I talked for over 45 minutes and even let me taste a doughnut that his wife made and sold every Sunday morning called a “Cooked Sister”. My only regret during my time in Bo Kaap was that I didn’t have more time to talk with more of the residents over a cup or three of chai tea. I guess that means I will have to take another trip to Cape Town someday!

In addition to getting to shoot almost every day in Bo Kaap, I also had the privilege of visiting a community development project called Sobambisana that was working in the Crossroads Township, among others, of Cape Town. It was a great day of shooting and interacting with the local kids and residents who were either at the school or volunteered with Sobambisana.

Click here to check out my Sobambisana gallery

Click here to check my Bo Kaap gallery

P.S. I also said I was going to start trying to tell some of the stories behind my images from India and other travels. I was going to start that while I was in South Africa but the internet was terrible. My aim is to start this next week….cross your fingers!


Author: The Visual Advocate

Joe Murray, The Visual Advocate, is a Humanitarian and Cultural photographer based in Decatur, Georgia. Joe began his photographic career as an adventure and landscape photographer, but a month-long trip to India in 2009 deeply impacted him and proved to be a turning point in his life and photographic vision. Today, Joe is dedicated to using his craft to create and share compelling images and stories of the lives of the peoples and cultures of the world. While Joe loves and appreciates all the peoples and cultures of the world, he has a particular vision, passion and love for India and South Asia. As both an experienced photographer, public speaker, recruiter and advocate, Joe's goal as a visual artist is not simply to create awareness, but to move people to use their lives and resources to be a blessing to the world's most poor, abused, displaced, stereotyped and overlooked peoples.

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