Homelands: Life on the Edge of the South African Dream

Pieter de Vos

Book Details
Paper over Board
ISBN-13: 978-1942084624
156 pages; 70 images
10 x 9 inches
$45 US; $58.99 CAN 

Photographs and introduction by Pieter de Vos
Foreword by Leilani Farha
Contributions by Stephan de Beer and Donald Banda 

HOMELANDS is the product of seven years of documentary work. Since 2012, I have been collaborating with Donald Banda to explore questions of home and belonging. I met Donald when he was living in Woodlane Village, an informal settlement located in a wealthy suburb in Pretoria. Early in my time with Donald, he confided that he had long desired to have his story told. But he never had the means to do so. This book represents my promise to carry his story forward. His narrative personifies the story of my homeland: a place of promise and heartache; a place of perseverance and faith; a place where personal histories reveal complex social truths. The release of this book in April 2019 is timely given that South Africa will be reflecting on the 25-year anniversary of its first open election (April 1994). It is important these stories enter the conversation on the state of the nation since the abolishment of apartheid. The country faces an uncertain future due to the growing gap between the rich and the poor. It is anticipated that 2019 will be a moment of reckoning for the country, especially since the general election is also scheduled for this year. This book will appeal to those interested in documentary photography, place-making, and human rights. The narrative components of the book should also resonate with readers who are interested in stories as ways of exploring human experience, especially around questions of social inclusion and community-building.


Pieter de Vos is an award-winning photographer, educator and facilitator.

Leilani Farha is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing.

Stephan de Beer is the Director of the Centre of Contextual Ministry, University of Pretoria.