From 1961 Robben Island, situated 7km off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa was used by the apartheid South African Government as a prison for political prisoners. Nobel laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars prior to the fall of apartheid.
The flat, low lying, scrubby island is known for it’s harsh environment – ranging from cold Antarctic southerly winds to searing, stifling heat. The inmates including Mandela worked long hours in the quarry, or in the prison yards, quarrying or cutting stone.
The island is now a world heritage site. Few people visiting can imagine how Mandela and others survived such an ordeal and yet triumphed over oppression.
This series of photographs, attempts to convey the harshness of the prison’s environment; the searing heat and the stark, blinding light that Mandela and many others had to endure over such a long period of time.