Joburg Photowalkers is a group of Johannesburg photo enthusiasts who organize walks in various parts of this vibrant, and sometimes dangerous, city. I decided to join the guided walk around the old Johannesburg General Hospital (the Joburg Gen as it’s known locally) to see what it’s all about. This was my first group photowalk and I hope it won’t be the last. The cool thing about doing stuff like this is that, a.) you get together with a bunch of like-minded people, and, b.) you get to places you would not normally get to see or photograph. To be honest, I never really felt I was “in the zone” on the day, battling with a cumbersome Benbo “tripod”, and with a low battery warning coming on quite early in the walk and no spares with me! But I got a few shots that I think are okay, if not particularly spectacular. Another interesting element to a photowalk is seeing how others responded to the visual stimuli on offer. Looking at some of the pictures posted by others on the walk, I get the distinct impression I was walking around with my eyes closed half the time!
Hillbrow was once an anything-goes, cosmopolitan city suburb. Full of high-rise blocks of flats (apartment buildings), retail establishments, restaurants and night clubs. These days it’s occupied mostly by drug dealers, prostitutes and assorted ne’er-do-wells. Crime is rife and this is not a place you want to venture into alone – especially after dark. The building at the right of the frame above – formerly the Esselen Street Hospital, now the Hillbrow Community Clinic – was designed by , Wllhelm Pabst, a German architect who settled in Johannesburg prior to WW II.
The wall below dates back to Johannesburg’s earliest days, when the fledgling city wasn’t much more than a rough, dusty, tented mining village.
Not quite sure what this is/was. Hopefully one of the other Photowalkers can fill us in.
A few views of various places within the hospital precinct.
Below is a view of the rear of the main hospital building, showing a laundry chute, or is it a fun fair ride from a children’s ward?
I’ll leave it at that for now, and post a few more pics tomorrow.
© 2011. All images copyright Grahame Hall and may not be used without the written permission of the copyright owner. Please respect the rights of others.