Drone's eye view photos reveal the racism of South African neighbourhoods

Johnny Miller is a Cape Town-based photographer who uses drones to capture aerial views of neighbourhoods and cities that reveal the deep, racial inequalities in architecture and city planning between black and white populations.

The drones are able to capture the street-plans and atmosphere of the gated white communities that are physically separated — by walls and armed guards — from the ramshackle black townships beside them.

The project, "Unequal Scenes," has found a large audience online, and kicked off a debate on South African Facebook about the extent to which this kind of visible-from-space racism is unique to South Africa.

Miller's site provides important context for each of the shots, exploring the historical conditions that gave rise to each division and the lives of the people on both sides of the divide.

Miller says the project has started a positive conversation. A handful of urban planners and housing officers have seen his photos and reached out to him.

He says that his photos — devoid of people — show a more objective viewpoint that is difficult to argue with.

"Viewers can stop thinking, 'this is a white or black issue,' or, 'I'm looking at a poor or a rich person.' They are almost looking at a map or a puzzle," he says.

"A lot of people in South Africa are telling me that they didn't realize how little has changed since 1994 until they saw these photos."

Unequal Scenes [Johnny Miller]

How drone photographs showcase racism in South African architecture
[Nosmot Gbadamosi/CNN]