It will make you question if this is even Joburg that you are looking at! Elsa Bleda was recently featured in The Washington Post in a piece titled

The incredible photos will make you question if this is even Joburg that you are even looking at!


Johannesburg, South Africa – Elsa Bleda was recently featured in The Washington Post in a piece titled “The vivid, sometimes surreal, nightscapes of Johannesburg” and her incredible photography will completely change the way you see beautiful Jozi.

Bleda was raised travelling and eventually settled down in South Africa in late 2006 as a teenager. While studying music production, Bleda continued her passion for photography and film. After graduation, Bleda decided on moving forward with visual arts.

“Her Nightscapes Johannesburg series and dreamy landscapes gained her worldwide recognition in both the film and commercial worlds. The subject matter, her home city Johannesburg, became a strong influence on her work as her bond with the city grew stronger. She has developed an unconventional yet strong visual identity over the years and her night works are so aptly described as post-future gothic, uniquely composed through the use of light as well as its absence, in juxtaposition to her daylight works which are often dreamy and softer with colour plays and an eerie mood.” 

Along the same timeline, Elsa started working on her Chinatowns of Africa project. Chinatown’s of Africa carries a narrative about foreign minority groups and their existence within African society.

Her body of work has attracted major brand collaboration. Her first major collaboration was shooting a global campaign for Apple, focusing on the underground artists of South Africa and was shown on all major billboards around the world.

She also recently became the face of Lexus’ latest campaign “New Horizons”. New Horizons was created for Lexus’ first female engineered car which was a revolutionary move in the brand’s history, Elsa’s stance as a globally recognised female artist represented this shift visually in the television commercial covering her photographic journey through a city.

“In 2016, preeminent creative director Trevor Beattie chose Elsa as one of his ‘Famous Five’, and as a result, she appeared on the cover of The Drum magazine with a lengthy interview about her being a unique and influential young voice in the industry. Since then, she often cites Beattie as her mentor. Elsa also had her first solo exhibition in Kalashnikovv Gallery in 2016, showcasing her Nightscapes: Johannesburg series. The exhibition was followed up by Nightscapes: Cape Town in Red Bull Studios.” 

She created her recent solo exhibition in 2019, ‘Memories of Dreams’ in which the subject matter is a spiritual journey through the foggy mountains of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. The exhibition had augmented, and virtual reality works developed, as well as a physical experience created to illuminate the atmosphere of the photographs exhibited.

Bleda is currently working on her photography book to be released in 2021 and her film journey through art-house projects, but here is a snapshot of some of the most epic Joburg photos from her Instagram:

Sources: Afronova | Elsa Bleda Instagram 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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