Eric Fichtl

South Africa

<p>Smoke and soccer in Soweto.</p>
<p>A woman washing clothes on a winter morning in Langa. </p>
<p>Friends playing football in the streets of Langa.</p>
<p>Peering down from the cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope.</p>
<p>In Kliptown, Soweto, a monument conveys the popular demands of the Freedom Charter – drawn together in 1955 as a unified statement of ambitions by numerous anti-Apartheid political movements including the African National Congress (ANC). The Charter is unambiguous in challenging the racialist regime and its organisers were branded traitors by the Apartheid government. <br /></p><p>Less than 40 years later, sections of the Freedom Charter were incorporated into South Africa's new constitution, and the ANC emerged as the ruling party. </p>
<p>As part of a memory project, artist Roderick Sauls installed two replica Apartheid-era benches outside the High Court Annex in Cape Town in 2007. It was here that race classification hearings took place based on the Population Registration Act (in effect from 1950 to 1991). A second law, the Separate Amenities Act of 1953, ensured the pseudo-mantra of 'separate but equal' by installing facilities like benches and water fountains designated 'Whites only' or 'Non-whites only'. <br /></p><p>Sauls' benches quote precise definitions from the legal text as a reminder of the fallacy, and provoke quite a reaction when stumbled upon...</p>
<p>A German fan is slightly outnumbered by Argentine hinchas before their quarter-final match in the 2010 World Cup. The match ended 0-4 to the Germans.</p>
<p>The scene outside the stadium before a 2010 World Cup match between Argentina and Germany in Cape Town.</p>
<p>Men concentrate on cooking at a braai in Soweto.</p>
<p>A dramatic view from Chapman's Peak across Hout Bay, on the Cape Peninsula.</p>
<p>A person enjoys the spectacular views over Cape Town and the ocean from atop Table Mountain. The sky was amazing that day.</p>
<p>A solitary tree in the vast spaces of Kruger National Park.</p>
<p>This little guy (he is a male) was up atop Table Mountain. Such a colourful species!</p>
<p>An elephant and her calf take water. Elephants can drink over 200 litres in one session – proving their superiority to humans, if you ask me.</p>
<p>A waterbuck stands in the open, with a herd of elephants in the distance. The waterbuck is a species of antelope, and prefers to stay near water as its strong swimming skills can serve as a defence mechanism.<br /></p>
<p>A female Steenbok looks up from browsing for tasty grass. Steenboks are a small species of antelope. </p>
<p>A rhinoceros rests by a bush. Often poached for their horns, most species of rhinoceros are considered critically endangered. I believe this one to be a Southern white rhinoceros, the most common species – but even its numbers have dwindled to some 17,000 individuals. </p>
<p>A herd of elephants emerge from the bush. </p>
<p>A lioness and her cub eye the photographer. </p>
<p>Two zebras almost seem to hug. Or is it a defensive posture?</p>
<p>A trio of penguins decline a seagull's attempt to join their conversation. Harsh.</p>
<p>Three African penguins eye an interloping seagull with seeming suspicion. Will they get along?</p>
<p>Three clever lionesses make a roadblock to allow their cubs to cross the road.</p>
<p>Two jackals conversing.<br /></p>
<p>A giraffe and a zebra share a moment.</p>
<p>Two jackals go from 'conversation' to chasing each other in an instant.</p>
<p>Three elephants curl their trunks and eat in sync.</p>
<p>A tree in the bushveld's immense space.</p>
<p>If I'm not mistaken, this is elephant is fairly old. The sunken temples are one sign it's lived quite a few decades, as is its slightly weathered appearance. (Please let me know if you can tell me more about this one's age and gender!)<br /></p>
<p>An eagle (a Wahlberg's eagle, I think) spreads its wings while resting on a tree branch.</p>
<p>A group of impalas graze as one inspects the photographer. Impalas have a distinctive three-tone body and black stripes on their rears.</p>
<p>A zebra strikes a noble pose.</p>
<p>An elephant bull roams under the big sky of Kruger National Park.</p>
<p>This lioness isn't being rude: lions stick out their tongues to help smell potential prey or danger. </p>
<p>A close-up of two giraffes crossing the bushveld. </p>
<p>A beautiful elephant in the grass of the bushveld. Elephants use dirt and mud as a form of insect repellent and sunscreen.</p>
<p>Two giraffes browsing for a meal. They're considered 'browsers' as they eat leaves, rather than grazing on grasses.</p>
<p>This zebra foal has just about mastered standing on its own four feet. A nearby wildebeest seems unmoved by the achievement.</p>
<p>Southern yellow-billed hornbills typically forage on the ground for food. This one's expression suggests the foraging wasn't so good that day.</p>
<p>A cape starling scavenges on the ground, allowing us a peek at its incredibly fashion-forward colours.</p>
<p>Wildebeests walk in single file to hide their numbers, maybe. <br /></p>
<p>OK, more of a stare from this grazing African buffalo, but just appreciate the Neneh Cherry reference. Prone to charging and trampling, this type of buffalo has not been domesticated and is one of Africa's most dangerous animals.<br /></p>