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Milnerton Market 1999-2009

Fourthwall Books


Milnerton Market: David Southwood

For the last decade David Southwood has been observing, participating in and photographing the Milnerton flea market. In that time, he has seen subtle changes in one of the many “grey zones” of Cape Town, where a growing number of peripheral characters – mainly poor whites and recent migrants into South Africa – seek to earn a living through trade in secondhand goods. Milnerton Market has emerged from Southwood’s intense engagement as powerful record of a single community on the fringes of a society in flux.

On one hand, Milnerton Market simply bears witness to the hodgepodge life of things. But on the other, it explores the implications of the redistribution of resources by a new democratic government in the early 1990s, a process that did very little to alleviate the destitution of many. The geographic and symbolic “in-betweenness” of the site of the market – it is not sea, not city, not industrial, not prime property – and of the vendors themselves, perched on rickety deckchairs, suggests an uncomfortable unity of political rhetoric and acceptable public memory.

Milnerton Market comprises of a number of powerful images (full colour and black and white) and includes essays by Ivan Vladislavic, Ivor Powell and Michael Godby.

A self-taught photographer who has, over the past decade, David Southwood has concerned himself with many aspects of the photographic medium and how it is consumed. He has contributed to, and been featured in, publications like Adbusters, COLORS and Wallpaper and has also edited photo editions of magazines. In 2008 he co-curated a large show of photography of the South African urban landscape ( He has taught at a number of tertiary institutions and written for the art press.


Published 2011 by Fourthwall Books
ISBN 978-0-9869850-7-2
Hard cover
245 x 216 mm
120 pages
88 full colour images


Manufacturing lead time: 0 - 1 working days
Delivery lead time: 2 - 3 working days

DESIGNER: Fourthwall Books

Fourthwall Books is a company formed by editor and writer Bronwyn Law-Viljoen and writer and designer Oliver Barstow.

The company was established to publish beautifully designed and written books on art and architecture. Law-Viljoen and Barstow both have literary backgrounds and, between them, extensive experience in design and publishing.

Fourthwall Books hopes to raise the bar for art publishing in South Africa by combining innovative and intelligent book design with excellent writing.