A surprising quest in changing Transkei

The former homeland of Transkei is one of the poorest and most remote parts of South Africa, a place of hopeless poverty and white fortune seekers. During Apartheid, Black people were forced to live in this seemingly barren place - a Xhosa region where Nelson Mandela was born. The region is home to arguably the most beautiful stretch of coastline in the country, The Wildcoast.

Tom van der Leij frequently visited the region where he took photographs of the locals. He returned in 2021 to find his models again and let them have their say. How has their life changed in the new South Africa over the past two decades? The journalistic photo project 'Transkei in Transitie' results in a surprising quest, between tradition and change, between disappointment and hope, between death and life.

Amsterdam-based travel photographer Tom van der Leij (1975) previously exhibited at Afrika Voeltbalt! and Women@Work. www.tomvanderleij.com