Makarapa and Vuvuzela.
Photographs by Ian van Coller.
Doring Press, 2011. 128 pp., 100 color illustrations, 10x8".
In June and July of 2010, South Africa hosted the largest and most popular sporting event in the world. This is the first time that the FIFA World Cup (European Football) has been held on the continent of Africa. Sixteen years after the end of apartheid this event represents a particularly important time in South African history, where South Africa was able to stage a massive “coming out” party for the rest of the world.
This series of photographs focuses on South African national identity expressed through portraiture of football fans as well landscapes of football fields around the country. South African soccer fans are particularly “colorful” and are known for their trumpeting of Vuvuzelas and their outrageously adorned headgear. These incredibly artful creations, known as Makarapas, have their origins in the mining hardhats that were once synonymous with black migrant workers of the apartheid-era. Today, these mining helmets have been transformed into colorful symbols of national identity now donned by both blacks and whites.