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South Africa

Thembisa, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2018. (Photograph by Johnny Miller/Caters News)

'Unequal Scenes' — Aerials highlight the split between rich and poor

Aptly named “Unequal Scenes,” these shocking drone images highlight the range of inequality that exists across the world. Taken by South Africa-based photographer Johnny Miller, they show the contrast between upper-class housing and beaten-down shacks, fancy parks and dirt fields. The works have taken Miller far and wide, including Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania, India, the United States and across South Africa. Since starting the ongoing series in 2016, he has captured more than 70 scenes worldwide.

Currently a Cape Town resident, Miller, who was born in Maryland, said: “I thought it was strange how easy it was to become habituated to inequality. To drive past these shacks every day, but not really think about it or do anything about it. So I decided to take my drone and focus on the problem, and try to change people’s perspective, literally, with an aerial view of the problem as I saw it. One day in April 2016, I did just that — and the project was born.

“The images that I find the most powerful are when the camera is looking straight down — what’s known as nadir view — looking at the actual borders between rich and poor. Sometimes this is a fence, sometimes a road or a wetlands — with small shacks or poor houses on one side and larger houses or mansions on the other. Whatever it is about the composition of those photographs, they are extremely powerful to people. I think the images make inequality relevant — people can see themselves reflected in the images, and it’s deeply unsettling.”

Miller’s works have proved to be very popular globally. He has upcoming exhibitions in Germany, Italy, Greece, New York, North Carolina and Cape Town. (Caters News)

Photography by Johnny Miller

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