When 25-year-old Capetonian Carey Chanquin began snapping friends of hers on the side, she had no idea her pics would receive as much exposure as they have. ICYMI on social media, the full-time graphic designer, part-time photographer’s series Curating Coloureds is getting plenty of newsfeed coverage – for good reason. Not only is Chanquin an incredible local talent (which we always love celebrating), but her photographs are powerfully engaging.
Inspired by ‘the people I’m constantly surrounded by and who motivate me to pursue my own creative ambitions’, Curating Coloureds is Chanquin’s personal celebration of Cape Town’s coloured community. ‘Lots of people tend to look abroad for inspiration, in international blogs or magazines, but I wanted to show that there are these beautiful scenes and people right in front of us in Cape Town,’ explains Chanquin. ‘The purpose was to shed light on what isn’t always seen. The coloured community isn’t always shown in a positive light and I wanted to represent it in a different light.’
There’s a personal, documentary-style feel to Chanquin’s pictures – few feel posed or ‘set up’, a feeling Chanquin very intentionally tried to convey. ‘Everyone was keen to be a part of the project. Even the captions come from the people in the pictures: they told me how they’d like to be referred to,’ she says. ‘The people featured are all friends of mine and belong to the creative community I spend a lot of my time with. I tried to capture an element of their cool personalities, styles and attitudes in the photographs. They’re all people who motivate me to pursue my own creative ambitions.’
The result is sense of authenticity – as the viewer, you feel like you’re genuinely meeting her friends for yourself. ‘I wanted to celebrate my coloured community and capture them in the best way possible. I feel it’s time fellow South Africans see the pride we have in our identity,’ she says.
Not that Chanquin was expecting to get as big a response as her series has been attracting. ‘It’s been overwhelming,’ she says. ‘I didn’t expect it to snowball in such a way.’
See Chanquin’s full series here.
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