Roadside Memorial

A Photo Series

By Reatile Moalusi


As one drives across the South African landscape, it is common to see roadside memorials where death occurred. A roadside memorial marks the spot where a person was killed and acts as a place of grieving and remembrance.

Bereaved individuals erect crucifix, bring flowers, photographs and sometimes-personal objects to remember and commemorate the deceased. Like a photograph, a roadside memorial becomes a place to remember the deceased, as well as a place of solace for family, friends and a way to keep the person “alive”.

Historically it is evident that the living cannot simply forget the dead.  The initial period of grief, bereavement and the link of emotions to the still alive and the deceased generally requires a symbolic relationship between the two through the concept of after life. The obligation of remembering goes far beyond the immediate social construct of the deceased.

The story of Friedman

The Last Portrait of Friedman – Unwarranted Death


The last Portrait of Friedman is an image of a man named Friedman. He was a migrant living in South Africa from Zimbabwe. He fatally died as a pedestrian in a road car accident

The Jaw seen in the picture belongs to him. Unfortunately while the pathologists were cleaning the site, some of Friedman’s remains were not fully cleared.

The Man died two months before this image was captured,

  • Image photographed on 01/06/2016 – 3:38 PM
  • on N14(N) just before Jean ave off-ramp
  • Memorial of frieddman still stand to date.

The account of Friedman’s passing obtained from fellow worker/friend’s of Friedman who witnessed the fatal accident.

Unfortunately stories like Friedman’s is not an anomaly, people continuously die on the road of South Africa for a series of different reasons. We are in the festive season of 2017 and the death toll has started. Driving across the landscape gives proof of my project. The campaign seeks to inspired drivers, pedestrians and other road users to be careful.

I would like to expand this project on a national scale, with the muscle of private sector and government initiatives.