Slow Motion: Stories About Walking has been written over a period of six years; having become something of a documentary project, witnessing transformation in South Africa through the eyes of pedestrians across the economic, racial and age spectrum.
Though it inevitably looks at the issue of crime, and how we have moved from a race-based to a class-based society and pedestrians of all colours continue to be marginalised and thought of as second-class citizens in an increasingly autocentric society, it is essentially an optimistic book.
It tells the stories of South Africans (and visitors) who have chosen to “reclaim the streets” from predators and traffic. While the focus is primarily on Johannesburg, several of the stories are about Cape Town, contrasting the experience of walking in these two cities. Other international cities such as Los Angeles, Paris, London and Mumbai are also visited along the way.
The style of the book is such that, while it can be opened anywhere and each story can be read and enjoyed on its own, the stories are interlinked, as people’s paths inevitably cross. There is a bigger story at play as well.
The band of pedestrians includes writers, artists, political activists, disabled people, dogs and their owners, Walk for Life members, Jews on the Sabbath, domestic workers, refugees, babies learning to walk, and even a golfer and a caddie.