Rise and Fall of Apartheid

Booklet 15.02.13 2013

"Rise and Fall of Apartheid" offers a comprehensive historical overview of the pictorial response to apartheid, which has never been undertaken before. Through its images, it explores the significance of the civil rights struggle, from how apartheid defined South Africa's identity from 1948 to 1994, to the rise of Nelson Mandela, and finally its lasting impact. It examines the aesthetic power of the documentary form in recording, analyzing, articulating, and confronting apartheid's legacy and effects on everyday life in South Africa.  

Organized according to key words, the exhibition offers comprehensive background knowledge on the documentary forms used during apartheid – from the photo essay and reportage to photojournalism.

Rise and Fall of Apartheid


Stretch your view

Stretch your View

Picture Gallery


Sir Sidney Kentridge

An interview with the renowned antiapartheid activist lawyer Sir Sydney Kentridge. He played a leading role in a number of the most significant political trials in apartheid era, including the 1977 inquest of Stephen Biko following his death in custody, was a member of Nelson Mandela's legal team during his 27-year imprisonment, and helped erode the legacy of apartheid laws in South Africa. MORE

In the press

Rise and Fall of Apartheid - Article in the NY Times

"Photography is the common language of modern history. It's everywhere; and everyone, in some way, understands it." (The New York Times) MORE


William Kentridge: Tide table

"Tide Table" is one of ten films by South African artist William Kentridge that "Rise and Fall of Apartheid" shows in its own cinema. MORE


Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Interview with Peter Magubane

Interview with Peter Magubane, one of South Africa’s most distinguished photo journalists. MORE


Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Bibliography

Extensive bibliography on the subject of apartheid with a focus on photography, fiction and autobiography as well as academic publications. MORE


Okwui Enwezor: Rise and Fall of Apartheid

The essay offers a comprehensive overview of the pictorial response to apartheid in South Africa. MORE

FAZ Article on "Rise and Fall of Apartheid"

Review of the exhibition "Rise and Fall of Apartheid" in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" on March 5, 2013. (In German) MORE


Rise and Fall of Apartheid



"Soweto Uprising" – Readymade and photographs

Kendell Geers' readymade "Untitled, 1976" is a mortuary register listing the name of a young boy who was killed during the Soweto Uprising – an event captured also in numerous photographs in the exhibition "Rise and Fall of Apartheid". MORE


Worksheets for "Rise and Fall of Apartheid"

The material encourages students to focus on different topics while viewing the exhibition and to stimulate their further discussion. MORE


Exhibition program on video

A video containing brief visual descriptions of current exhibitions. MORE