A Look into Alexandria’s Informal Dwellings

In the novel, Mpe also mentions the township of Alexandria. The character Lerato originated from the township. Alexandria township is considered one of the poorest urban areas in all of South Africa. And interestingly, it neighbors one of Johannesburg’s most affluent suburbs in Sandton. In addition to the township’s original, reasonably well-built houses, it also has a large number of informal dwellings or “shacks”.  The photos above were taken from an exhibit at Museum Africa in Newtown, the arts district of Johannesburg. The photos provide an inside view of the informal dwellings inhabited by more than 20,000 Alexandrians.

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