Inside a bridge
The opening under the bridge is no bigger than a manhole. Beyond it lies the underbelly of one of the busiest highways in Johannesburg. Thousands of cars rush over this bridge each day, completely oblivious of the world beneath them, and contained in the hollow bridge. Inside the hole, a small group of men and women live discreetly, surfacing to work, wash and cook. When the sun sets, they retreat inside, where candlelight flows through thin partitions separating a motley mix of lives. Posters of FHM models hang on the bare concrete, dusty Persian rugs are rolled out. The highway never sleeps, it rumbles under the river of tyres. Inside it people live. They are a group of around 20 people, living as a closed-off society. They decide who joins them and who doesn’t. Some have lived inside the bridge for 15 years. They hail from various African countries – namely, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Kenya, and Malawi – but live as one, surviving in a world with little electricity, fresh water or healthcare.