I interviewed Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon about his stunning book, The Blinded City- Ten Years In Inner-City Johannesburg, which tells countless and complex sets of stories about people who occupy buildings in inner-city Johannesburg.
Some call these bulldings "hijacked buildings" but Matthew explains why this term is problematic. He has spent over ten years getting to know the people living in these buildings, recording their stories, following lawfare between these communities, property developers and the City of Johannesburg.
What emerges is an incredible book that isn't just about an ongoing housing crisis, but a struggle for the right of people who live precariously to be treated with dignity, an inviolable right that they are inherently entitled to but all too often denied.
No one with a serious interest in making sense of the urban landscape, and our myriad political fissures, can skip this conversation. Listen to it, and buy Matthew's book.
This is a story about Johannesburg, in the first instance, but one with global echoes and therefore of international interest also.