Brighton Photo Biennial: A tale of two cities

People descended from India who now live in Brighton, England and Marabastad, Pretoria
Click to follow

When regular Independent Magazine photographer Kalpesh Lathigra was commissioned by the Brighton Photo Biennial to contribute work to this year's show on the theme of communities, he teamed up with the South African, Thabiso Sekgala, to picture people descended from India who now live in Brighton, England and Marabastad in Pretoria. They wanted to document how these communities – Brighton with a small Indian population and Marabastad, a place where African, Chinese and Indian people mixed – co-existed with their surroundings.

The pair collaborated at every juncture, from planning the project on Skype, to hitting the road together in the UK and South Africa. The results are on display at this year's Brighton Photo Biennal and in Johannesburg.

'The Rupani family'

"The Rupani Family own Planet India, a family-run restaurant in Brighton. It is not a curry house but does genuine home cooking. Nilesh and his family interested me on a few levels. Firstly, they were not east African Indians (like me and many of the Indian families who came to Britain in the Sixties from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) but they were from India. There are distinct differences of culture between the two as well as similar traits. I felt an affinity to him as we are the same but different."

'New Movement'

"These young boys were walking down Jewel Street in Laudium. Laudium in the past was an Indian township. They were probably on their way to the black township of Atteridgeville, which lies directly north of Laudium, although the two areas are separated by a series of hills, and no direct tarred road link exists between the two."

At The Stop Sign (Sajid, Albert, Daniel and Ryngo)

"Sajid Husen Pathan moved to South Africa 10 years ago from Gujarat, in India and works as a delivery driver. Daniel and Ryngo run the roadside garage in Laudium."

'David Diamond'

"David works at a garage near the Planet India restaurant in Brighton. I think Thabiso was reflecting on the past with Marabastad, South Africa where communities lived and work beside each before the Group Area act in South Africa in the 1960s."

A Return to Elsewhere by Kalpesh Lathigra and Thabiso Sekgala is showing as part of the Brighton Photo Biennial at Circus Street Market, Brighton until 2 November;