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Ben Jay Crossman | Streets of Fietas

Streets of Fietas on Rita Hello

Street of Fietas is a three part documentary or short series on suburbs in Johannesburg generally referred to as Fietas. Andre actually told me about Crossman’s work a year ago or more, as both of us love watching Vice documentaries, we really ‘enjoyed’ watching this.

Usually, I post fairly beautiful things. This is not that. I’m not posting this to comment on Crossman’s filmmaking ability, I honestly just think that these films are something that goes beyond that. I just think sometimes we need to see some things that aren’t as beautiful and as pretty to be able to appreciate those ups in life. I also don’t want to go through life all blind and starry-eyed without any knowledge of all the different facets of where we find ourselves.

Fietas is one of those weirdly fucked up yet deeply historical areas of Jozi. It consists of the suburbs of Vrededorp and Pageview, and is situated roughly between Melville and Newtown. You know that skanky looking bit on your right once you’ve passed Stanley 44 and the Gasworks, on your way to town, before you’ve turned right to go under the train? That’s Fietas.  JHB Live

I know that every country, every area and every town has its sadness, I just really struggle to make peace with the fact that children are growing up in an environment like that. To those children that is normal and that kind of parentage is in some way what they will probably carry over to their own children. It is interesting to hear the logic of these people being interviewed and I really do appreciate the fact that filmmaker didn’t stick to traditional documentary protocol. Hats off to Crossman for making this a really insightful documentary.

Pageview is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is located in Region F. Originally populated by non-whites including Cape Malays and Indians, it was one of two adjacent suburbs commonly known as Fietas. Wikipedia

If you would like to read more about Fietas here’s a pretty good overview on City of Johannesburg. One Small Seed also did an amazing post on Crossman’s work, you can check it out here. You can also go have a look at Ben Jay Crossman’s Vimeo Channel.

WARNING: People that are easily offended by bad language, rather not watch these videos.

Streets of Fietas on Rita Hello






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