No filter: Meet the photographer showcasing raw stories from the streets


Manage episode 282943763 series 2300890
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Joshua Rubin is no idle spectator. He’s a documentary photographer and videographer who immerses himself in the details of other people’s lives.Compelled by the stories that each of us carry and the desire to amplify them, Rubin spends hours driving around Cape Town searching for willing conversationalists. Focusing on marginalised communities, he peels back layers of stigma to reveal the truth. “My obligation as a photographer is to take a story that hasn’t been heard and bring it into the public,” Rubin says. His revealing work zooms in on disadvantaged neighbourhoods, like those of the Cape Flats. These suburbs are stigmatised as violent and gang-ridden. Rubin’s subjects receive nothing but averted eyes from most, but he is determined to rouse his audience into recognising their humanity and dignity. He’s made personal connections with gang leaders and those who live on the streets – and it’s not just because he’s curious. The filmmaker has real struggles in common with rejected members of society. “I’ve had very big drug problems in my past and I didn’t finish school,” Rubin says.He builds relationships with anyone who’ll speak to him, and is granted a rare gift because of it: trust. Through empathetic and compassionate conversation, the 24-year-old is invited into a world that few see. “I believe that it is my job to create positive change,” Rubin says. His short films have showcased a self-taught builder who transformed his shack into a palatial home, driving lessons with his housekeeper, and the unnervingly empty streets of Cape Town in the first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown. Rubin uplifts his subjects as well as his viewers through his films. Shining a light on those around him, he shifts perspectives. In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, you can help us spread information and hope. Share your positive stories by clicking here and we’ll be in contact.

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