Xenophobia: The intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.
Sanctuary: A refuge, a haven, a retreat in times of trouble.
In 2008 many traumatised Zimbabwean nationals took refuge in a community church in Observatory, Cape Town. During the riots, more than 60 people died and many were left destitute and injured. I spent time getting to know many of these individuals and discussed their experiences as refugees in South Africa.
The church acted as a sanctuary for the families, many of which widowed were women with very young children. With thanks to their participation I documented a series of portraits of the mothers who were housed there. The church environment itself created a strange paradox: both a sacred place for communities to come together yet at this time it was for those rejected by their neighbours.
The series was documented on medium format B&W roll film shooting with a twin lens Mamiya C3.