Video: James House NGO in South Africa

In addition to still photography, I recorded some video footage and audio to create a video for Ā«James HouseĀ», a NGO in South Africa. James House is a small but most impressive organisation with a highly motivated staff providing community-based child and youth care development programmes.

There is incredible poverty in the shack settlement Imizamo Yethu. Unemployment rate is high. Alcohol and drugs are major problems. HIV infection is frequent, also in children. Organisations such as James House make sure that people get antiretroviral therapy.

One of the locations in the video for Ā«James HouseĀ», a shack in Imizamo Yethu, South Africa. Pamela, the community worker, also served as a translator.

One of the challenges in creating a video with foreign languages (such as isiXhosa in this case) is the translation. I worked with a NGO community worker who also served as a translator during interviews. She got trained not to interrupt the speaker, as I chose to record longer bits and then let her translate to maintain the flow of the interviews rather than to let her translate every sentence. However, this might result in inaccurate word-by-word subtitles. There is an interesting post about this problem onĀ Dan Chung’s blog. Transcribing all the interviews took hours but it’s a necessity for the edit. Jeff Hutchens was incredibly helpful and patient in helping me with the planning of the video. His video Ā«Project RhinoĀ» is an inspiration.

Siphelele, Betty's six year old son.

For the video, I live recorded the Ā«Isibanye Youth ClubĀ» choir at Ā«James HouseĀ», which is part of the youth development program. They gave a striking performance during one of theirĀ rehearsalsĀ for a concert, and it still causes goose pimples when I hear them.

Isibanye Youth Club choir at James House, Hout Bay, South Africa
Isibanye Youth Club choir at James House, Hout Bay, South Africa


  1. Absolutely beautiful Lukas…..James House must have been so pleased to get such a touching description of their program.

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