“I really see my creative outputs and instagram as a tool to inspire others to be more observant and open to what’s going on around them.”
Architect and documentary photograph Warren Papier documents youth culture, street culture and minority movements.
The city of Cape Town is slowly building towards becoming a more inclusive city and a centre of diversity on the African continent. While the city has evolved and improved so much in just two decades, Warren Papier believes that there are some exciting things happening on the ground which will seriously transform the city 50 years down the line along with technology and accessibility. In the eyes of Warren Papier, Cape Town is a vibrant place to live and considers all its residents lucky to be able to experience it everyday.
As a young and dynamic architect, Papier started documenting youth culture via an online platform which fueled a passion for photography. An offshoot of that was an increased interest in street culture and minority movements. With the growing popularity of instagram, Papier now use this social media platform to connect with people by sharing his enthusiasm for the city and documenting his interactions with urban life.
As the urban population increases at a rapid pace, cities will be forced to be more conscious of the everyday issues citizens negotiate, and in response, become more efficient on a human scale – be it in transport systems, approaches to housing, energy usage, economic and social structures Those views on the future of cities are evident on his instagram account, an archive of photographs of architecture, movement, commuters and street culture.
Papier’s passion for Cape Town comes from his grandfather who instilled in him the pleasure of going to the Cape Town CBD. For some time in his youth, Papier lost connection with the inner town by living in the Cape Flats. During high school, Papier, who studied design and art, would be encouraged by his design teacher, Andrew Putter, to take on projects based on the city centre.
When Papier entered the school of architecture at UCT, he became more engaged with the built form and physicality of the city. He analysed city lines, buildings, and movements. It was in these particular moments that Papier felt most engaged with the city.
One of his projects then was to document youth culture; basically photographically documenting his engagement with communities and identifying their needs. This was the start of his documentation of the experiences when looking at buildings and urban life.
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For a while, Papier was photographing without knowing what was he was really documenting. He was absorbing a lot of things unconsciously which included movements systems in the city. As he started commuting regularly to the CBD for work, those shots of public transport, raileway lines and commuters became more present on his social media platform.
Papier has a very positive outlook on where Cape Town will be in the next 10 to 50 years. On its way to becoming a more inclusive city, Papier strongly believes that Cape Town should pay more attention to social issues, and the quality of architectural projects in various communities. For him, Instagram, his social media platform of choice, is a tool to connect with others and to inspire others to be more observant and open to what’s going on around them. Looking towards the future, Papier sees his photographs and the platform he uses to show them as a way to unlock collaborative opportunities with like minded individuals.
- FUTURE CAPE TOWN | Photo Essay : A journey around the world Inside Expo 2015
- FUTURE CAPE TOWN | Photo Essay: Why city street level matters
- All pictures come from Warren Papier’s Instagram account.