Panel discussion opening the exhibition "Rise and Fall of Apartheid"
discussion 14.02.13, 7 pm
Participants: Rory Bester, Okwui Enwezor, Peter Magubane, and Jurgen Schadeberg
The panel discussion opening the exhibition "Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life" was dedicated to Drum magazine, the first serious photographic outlet under the regime of apartheid in which the work of colored and white photographers appeared in the same media context. Initially published as "The African Drum" in 1951, the publication was both the catalyst and principal outlet for the work of African photographers who became visible protagonists in shaping the image of their world in the late 1940s. Designed in the mold of "Life" and "Picture Post", Drum jettisoned the rural "native" in favor of the urban black and also published investigative journalism. Jazzing up its hard-hitting documentary photography was imagery of popular culture and township life. It was in the pages of Drum that the new South African photography made its debut – work that included the exuberant, documentary-style images of artists such as Peter Magubane and the German expatriate Jurgen Schadeberg. Many of their works are on display in the exhibition.
Rory Bester is an art historian and critic as well as an occasional curator and documentary filmmaker. With Okwui Enwezor, director of Haus der Kunst, he has curated the exhibition "Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life".
Peter Magubane, one of South Africa’s most distinguished award-winning photo journalists, was born in a Johannesburg suburb in 1932. In 1954 he started working at Drum magazine as assistant to Jurgen Schadeberg, the magazine’s chief photographer and picture editor. A year later he was given his first photographic assignment. Joining the publication allowed Magubane to become part of the legendary Drum generation of black and white writers, artists, musicians, and photographers. He was a close friend of Nelson and Winnie Mandela and became an international icon of the struggle of journalists and photographers working under repressive regimes. Since the establishment of the new democracy, he has concentrated on exhibitions and publishing work from his extensive archive created over a long and distinguished career as South Africa’s foremost photojournalist.
Jurgen Schadeberg was born in Berlin in 1931 and emigrated to South Africa in 1950, where he became Drum magazine’s chief photographer, picture editor and art director. His photographs of this time represent the lives and struggles of South Africans during apartheid and include important figures in South Africa’s history, such as Nelson Mandela, Moroka, and Walter Sisulu. His images also capture key personalities and events in the jazz and literary world, such as the Sophiatown jazz scene with Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, and Kippie Moeketsi. In 1964 Schadeberg left South Africa and freelanced as a photojournalist in Europe and America for various prestigious magazines. He lived in London, New York, Spain, and France before returning to South Africa in 1985. Schadeberg was sometimes known as "The Father of South African Photography" and his major body of work, which spans 60 years, captures a wealth of timeless, iconic images. In 2007 he was awarded the Merit Cross First Class by the German President.
Stretch your view
Stretch your view
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
Rise and Fall of Apartheid - Article in the NY Times
In the press
"Photography is the common language of modern history. It's everywhere; and everyone, in some way, understands it." (The New York Times) MORE
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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
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Kendell Geers: 1988 — 2012
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