Alexander Lendrum

Editorial curator, born and raised in Hong Kong.

Photographer Elsa Bleda Continues her Haunting Series of a Neon-Lit Johannesburg

There’s something oddly alluring about the harsh yet vibrant glow of neon lights. The use of fluorescence is nothing new, yet it represents something futuristic, while at the same time, can contrarily feel almost retro-like thanks to now-classic films like Suspiria, Blade Runner and ChungKing Express, both films of which play heavy inspiration behind South African Photographer Elsa Bleda’s ongoing photo series of a neon-lit Johannesburg. We first came across the creative talent’s work back in November of last year, where we featured a part of her series that predominantly captured Jozi’s Chinatown district. Having continued on with documenting her local urban landscape, we now have more night-filled shots of the city, all of which are still just as captivatingly haunting as before.

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It’s clear that Bleda does not take her city for granted, especially with statements like these: “I used to tell my friends that I feel something in this city that I’ve never felt anywhere else. There is something very Gothic, and it gets confusing. Buildings are confusing. You have this Brutalist architecture, then Art Deco, and then no one around. And this air, this atmosphere… After certain hours, everything closes down. It has that haunting atmosphere from the past. Cape Town doesn’t have this. Durban doesn’t. Jo’burg specifically has it.” Check out Elsa Bleda’s images in throughout, and make sure you follow her on Instagram to keep posted on her amazing work.

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Alexander Lendrum

Editorial curator, born and raised in Hong Kong.