AIDAN is a photographer. His journey to becoming one was a rather long and odd one. He had been an avid athlete throughout his junior and high school years and had always had dreams of pursuing this. However, in his final year of high school, he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and suffered two subsequent knee injuries. This sent him into a rather dark place in his life. He didn’t know what gave him joy in life without an outlet. In his first year of university in the United States, his uncle who had been a brotherly figure to him passed away prematurely at the age of 29. He left Aidan only his camera, as he did not have many worldly possessions. Aidan decided that to find himself and in honour of his uncle’s memory, he would take this camera and learn how to use it so that one day he might leave the memories of his life behind for his loved ones. I fell in love with the art of photography.
As a third-culture kid born and raised in various regions of the world and spending more time outside South Africa than in it, Aidan has always desired to explore, understand and connect with what it means to be South African. As a child of mixed cultural background with one English and one Afrikaans parent, even in the midst of family gatherings, he has felt a sense of otherness. Thus at the first chance available, Aidan undertook a countrywide road trip over five months. The goal? To ascertain what it means to be South African, especially in a nation which encompasses so many cultures, languages and identities. Who are we?
Growing up Aidan felt that things were never quite what they seemed or were made out to be. So, when he takes a photograph, he tries to be as real, raw and honest as possible. He romanticises the idea that this imperfect reality is actually so ugly that it is beautiful, because it could never be faked or mimicked. Aidan believes there is beauty in the broken: whether that be unfulfilled dreams or a person’s vices. Those are the aspects of the world He tries to appreciate. The fairy tale ending doesn’t much interest him.