Social history of a village in photographs

2008-04-02 00:00

Annalize Mouton opens her photographic essay on the Western Cape village of Stanford near Hermanus, by saying: “Why a book on Stanford?” She then claims the uniqueness of the place, and also its status as an archetype of many other

villages and small towns in the world. Of course, many people think their particular piece of the world is special, but Mouton has produced a tribute to her own favourite that is certainly a labour of love.

She starts with a chapter on the early history of the village; a look at the man who gave it his name; the founding of Stanford; the farming community; the enormous change that came to the village with apartheid-era forced removals; the architecture; the natural surroundings and a long section on the people who now live there, all lavishly illustrated with her photographs.

Obviously, its main appeal will be to people who know the area, but, beautifully produced, it makes an interesting and valuable social

history record, and is an example of how to create a book of this kind.

Margaret von Klemperer

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