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Relevant issues for this story, separated by commas (eg. war, race, gender):
Race, Poverty
Geographical region for this story (eg. Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia):
Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Relevant key words for this story, separated by commas (eg. Africa, Hurricane Katrina, Mother Teresa):
South Africa, Apartheid
A short summary for this story that will go on the stories page (1-2 sentences):
This project documents the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa by photographing a wide spectrum children who were born in 1994, the year apartheid ended, living in and around Johannesburg, to explore how apartheid's end shaped their world and how their lives have been affected.
Julia Cumes

2000 — student award of excellence

The transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa marks perhaps the most extraordinary peaceful political and social revolution of this century. I propose to photograph a wide spectrum of children who were born in 1994, the year apartheid ended, and live in and around Johannesburg, where I grew up.  By documenting their lives, I hope to explore how apartheid's end shaped their world and how their lives have been affected, both socially and economically, by the transition.

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Brenda Mashila (right) examines the place where her doll's leg used to be. Left is her cousin, Michael (7), holding a Santa Claus doll and center is Brenda's cousin, Katherine (10). Mashila and her siblings and cousins live with their mother in a rural area just outside of Johannesburg.  Despite the fact that apartheid ended the year Brenda was born, her life is very much as it would have been under apartheid, with limited access to education and poor living conditions. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
Connie Pietersen, 7, watches television while eating a mango in her family's home in Houghton, Johannesburg. With her father in the cell phone business, Connie's family is part of the growing black elite in post-apartheid South Africa. They live in a large house in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Johannesburg, have multiple servants and both parents drive BMWs. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
Ursula Nieuwoudt (front lefft) prays with her classmates at her primarily white school in the Hennops River area just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.  Ursula, an Afrikaner (South African of Dutch descent) lives with her parents and two sisters on a farm (not in operation). Her father, Kobus, is a town planner and consultant and her mother, Annelie, owns a topiary. The Nieuwoudts employ a live-in cook, domestic servant and several landscapers for Annelie's business. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
First grade teacher, Johanna Mothabela, gives her students a Bible lesson at Bathabile Elementary School. Only three out of the seven Mashila children attend school because the family cannot afford the school fees. Brenda Mashila is second from right. She and her two siblings walk over 5 km to and from school every day. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
Ursula Nieuwoudt climbs over the fence to go for a swim in her family's home in the Hennops River area just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.  Ursula and her three sisters attend a predominantly white school. The Nieuwoudt's primary concern is security because many of the white farms in their area have been attacked and the owners killed. Despite their sense of hope for the "new South Africa" , they are considering the possibility of immigrating to Europe. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
Brenda, her siblings and cousins dance outside their home in a rural area outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. The children made matching outfits out of some material they found in the trash and decided a performance should follow. With no television and few toys, the Mashila children frequently make up games to entertain themselves using whatever props they find. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
Ursula Nieuwoudt and her sisters play in the garden while one of their gardners tills the soil at the Nieuwoudt's home in the Hennops River area just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa.  Ursula, an Afrikaner (South African of Dutch descent) lives with her parents and two sisters on a farm (not in operation). "We were brought up very conservatively," says her father Kobus of the changes in South Africa since Apartheid's end.  "We knew that we had to change.  We never say racist things in front of our children," he adds. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
Ursula Nieuwoudt brushes her sister, Odette's hair after school at the Nieuwoudt's home in the Hennops River area just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
Brenda brushes her hair before church. The small piece of mirror in her hand is a much treasured item which the children take turns using when grooming themselves. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation
Matthew Blackburn and his friends play eeny-meeny-miny-mo to decide who is "on" in a game of "catches" at Matthew's 7th birthday party at his family's home in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Matthew's social group is racially very mixed--a product of the integration that is now common in South African schools.  Until Apartheid was abolished in 1994, whites and black could not attend the same schools.  Matthew lives with his parents and two brothers in a predominantly white suburb of Johannesburg.  Matthew’s mother, Trish, is an assistant accountant and his father, Chris, is a retauranteur currently between jobs.  The Blackburn boys attend the same government school their mother attended as a child except that the school is now predominantly black rather than all-white.  Because of the racial mix of the school, most of Matthew’s friends are black.  “Our kids are growing up in a totally different South Africa,” says Chris Blackburn.  “They’re not conscious of race like we were growing up,” he adds.  The family employs a full-time black domestic servant, Eli, who helped raise the three boys from the time they were born. Julia Cumes/Alexia Foundation