Guide to the South Africa documentary photographs collection, 1940s-2007, bulk 1960s-2007
Collection consists of over 1000 black-and-white and color exhibit prints representing the work of 44 South African photographers who documented conditions during and after apartheid, from about the 1940s to 2007, with most dating after 1960. Arranged in four series representing projects co-curated by documentary photographers Alex Harris, Paul Weinberg, and others: Beyond the Barricades, The Cordoned Heart, Then and Now, and Underexposed. Settings include rural and urban South Africa, and images document rallies, protests, forced removals, funerals, social gatherings such as dances and concerts, work, domestic life, the life of the elderly, the migrants, and the impoverished, and labor strikes and organizing. There are many portraits of individuals of all races and classes, well-known activists and politicians, as well as countless ordinary South African citizens. Many of the photographers were members of Afrapix, a collective photography agency engaged in documenting the anti-apartheid struggle. There is a small amount of printed material, as well as digital image files. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
- Collection Number
- South Africa documentary photographs collection
- 48.5 Linear Feet, 47 boxes
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
Collection consists of over 1000 black-and-white and color exhibit-quality prints representing the work of 44 South African photographers who documented conditions during and after apartheid, from about the 1940s to 2007. Many of the photographers were members of Afrapix, a collective photography agency engaged in documenting the anti-apartheid struggle.
The prints are arranged in four series representing projects co-curated by documentary photographers Alex Harris and Paul Weinberg, and others: Beyond the Barricades, The Cordoned Heart, Then and Now, and Underexposed. Each project resulted in an exhibit and three of them produced books. The series and the work of each photographer are described in full in this collection guide.
Settings include rural and urban South Africa, documenting events such as rallies, protests, forced removals, funerals, social gatherings and leisure pursuits, violence between Africans, and labor strikes and meetings. There are also many portraits of individuals and families: migrant workers, farm laborers, HIV positive individuals, affluent South Africans, domestic workers, and well-known activists and politicians.
The images take the form of black-and-white and color prints, chiefly gelatin silver and pigmented inkjet prints, with most measuring approximately 12x16 to 16x20 inches. There is a small amount of textual material documenting the Cordoned Heart exhibit, as well as selected digital image files, and a digital audio file of exhibit opening remarks.
Among the names in this collection are several documentary photographers whose individual bodies of work are also held at Duke: Alex Harris, David Goldblatt, Cedric Nunn, and Paul Weinberg. Details regarding all the photographers are found in a biographical section in this collection guide.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], South Africa documentary photographs collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Consists of 79 gelatin silver prints of images taken from 1981 to 1988 by South African phographers, many of whom were members of Afrapix, the collective photo agency that documented resistance to apartheid in the 1980s. The images originated with the Afrapix documentary project "Beyond the Barricades." The project resulted in an exhibit and a book, Beyond the Barricades: Popular Resistance in South Africa (1989), published in cooperation with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Afrapix photographers Omar Badsha, Gideon Mendel, and Paul Weinberg selected photographs for the book.
The photographs are unmatted, exhibit quality prints measuring approximately 11.75x16 inches. They document social and political protest in South Africa during the violent and bloody period of the 1980s; subjects include funerals, conflicts with police, death squads and vigilantes, rallies and demonstrations, and other political gatherings. Well-known individuals appearing in the photographs include Chief Buthelezi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President P.W. Botha, Mrs. Botha, Mrs. Tshabalala (wife of the mayor of Soweto), and activists such as Billy Nair and Dorothy Nyembe. Numerous anti-apartheid organizations are portrayed, including the African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the Leandra Youth Congress, the Natal Indian Congress, the Black Sash Society, and the United Democratic Front (UDF).
The images were taken by twenty South African photographers, whose work is listed in this order: Omar Badsha, Julian Cobbing, Paul Grendon, Steve Hilton-Berber, Dave Hartman, Rashid Lombard, Roger Meintjies, Gideon Mendel, Eric Miller, Santu Mofokeng, Themba Nkosi, Cedric Nunn, Billy Paddock, Myron Peters, Chris Qwazi, Jeeva Rajgopaul, Guy Tillim, Zubeida Vallie, Gille de Vlieg, and Paul Weinberg. Most are represented by one or several prints, but Badsha, Mendel, and Weinberg contributed over a dozen images each. There are also a few prints whose photographers have not been identified.
The bulk of the photographs are described fully with captions and dates in the book Beyond the Barricades. Some of the photographs are also available as digital images mounted on the library server; please contact Research Services for access.
Specific subjects include South African political organizations and individuals such as the African National Congress (ANC) Women's League, the United Democratic Front (UDF), Inkatha Freedom Party, Natal Indian Congress, Ismail Meer, Dorothy Nyembe, Archie Gumede, Billy Nair, and Chief Buthelezi. They document protests, strikes, police confronting activists, mourners at funerals, and other events under apartheid.
Other images by Badsha can be found in the Cordoned Heart series.
Photographs document funeral protests by the African National Congress and the East Cape United Democratic Front.
Photographs document a FEDTRAW protest, police violence, a woman holding a bloody sheet, an injured protester, and a speech by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Portrait of body of 11-year old Michael Cheslyn Miranda in a coffin at his funeral.
Photographs depict a woman overcome by tear gas at a funeral protest, and a speaker and coffins at a funeral.
Photograph depicts arrests at a United Women's Organization (UWO) protest.
There are images of UDF protests, funerals and protests at funerals, a mother saying goodbye to her activist son, the 101 Battalion of the South Africa Defense Force in Capetown, police beating protesters, and the arrest of a UDF leader.
Images are of National Union of Mine Workers (NUMW) and COSATU protests. Other images by Miller can be found in the Then and Now series.
Photograph depicts women mourning for the death of an ANC member.
Image is of a police special forces squad in the Transvaal, standing next to the body of a dead person. These units became widely known as "death squads."
One image is of Chief Buthelezi and Goodwill Zwelithini, leaders of the Kwazulu homeland and the government-supported Inkatha movement. The second image is of a mother mourning the loss of two sons killed in Inkatha violence. Other images by Nunn can be found in the Cordoned Heart, Then and Now, and Underexposed series.
Photographs document a funeral, houses burned in Durban during Pondo/Zulu clashes, and a man murdered in Pondo/Zulu violence.
Image is of striking workers in Durban putting on a play. Another print by Rajgopaul is found in the Cordoned Heart series.
Photographs represent a funeral, a rally, and homes burning during "white-headband" vigilante violence near Cape Town. Other images by Tillim can be found in the Cordoned Heart and Then and Now series.
Photographs document spectators at the Delmas trial; members of the Black Sash Society marching; UDF (United Democratic Front) and ANC (African National Congress) events, including a UDF concert celebrating the Freedom Charter; police confronting protesters; Leandra Youth Congress members on a road; a policeman informing a family of an execution; and scenes of labor meetings and protests. Notable individuals include labor activist Albertina Sisulu, P.W. Botha at a military parade in Pretoria, and Mrs. Botha and Mrs. Tshabalala, wife of the mayor of Soweto, at a ceremony in Soweto. Some of the images were not used in the book, Beyond the Barricades.
Other images by Weinberg can be found in the Cordoned Heart and Then and Now series.
These black-and-white images came out of a documentary project by the photographic collective Afrapix, as part of the Second Carnegie Inquiry into Poverty and Development in South Africa. They document a crucial period of protest and social upheaval in South African history, and focus on poverty and the daily lives of people living under apartheid. Photographs depict neighborhoods, rural and urban residences, social life, families, work conditions, events in South African history such as forced relocations, and scenes of political or labor conflict.
Twenty photographers are represented, with their work arranged in this order: Paul Alberts, Joseph Alphers, Omar Badsha, Michael Barry, Bee Berman, Michael Davies, David Goldblatt, Paul Konings, Lesley Lawson, Chris Ledechowski, Rashid Lombard, Ben Maclennan, Jimi Matthews, Gideon Mendel, Cedric Nunn, Myron Peters, Berney Perez, Jeeva Rajgopaul, Wendy Schwegmann, and Paul Weinberg. The matted and unmatted gelatin silver prints range in size from approximately 12x16 to 16x20 inches, with duplicates of images found across size groups.
Textual materials include exhibit brochures and an exhibit installation guide. There is also a limited edition portfolio with ten signed photographs selected from the exhibit; prints have been housed with their respective photographers. Many of the photographs are also available as digital images mounted on the library server; please contact Research Services for access.
The prints in this series were part of the Cordoned Heart exhibit, curated by Cornell Capa, Alex Harris, and Margaret Sartor, which appeared originally at the International Center of Photography in 1986 and toured for a number of years afterwards. An accompanying book, South Africa: The Cordoned Heart (1986), was edited in part by Afrapix member Omar Badsha. There are some images used in the book which are not present in this collection. In addition, there are several unidentified prints which do not appear in the book.
Images were taken in the homeland of Bophuthatswana, the Crossroads camp, and Kew Town, with settings and subjects such as public housing for "colored," apartment interiors, family groups, unemployed men, children playing outside, and women cooking.
Images were taken in Lesotho, and document the effects of South Africa's migrant work culture. Subjects include mine workers, unemployed men, families waiting for remittance pay, as well as a soccer game, a child herding cattle, an elderly woman, and other scenes in rural areas.
Images document the daily life of unemployed men, pensioners, and people living in compounds and shantytowns in rural areas. Other scenes include trade union meetings and strikes. Settings include a funeral, street scenes, meetings of residents and their attorneys, religous events, removal protests and a march. Some images were shot in urban and rural Lesotho, others in the rural Transkei, Kwazulu, and the Inanda shantytown.
Persons of note in the photos of opposition movements are Albertina Sisulu, Dr. Essop Jassat, Nokukhanya Luthuli, and Paul David (Natal Indian Congress). Other images by Badsha can be found in the Beyond the Barricades series.
Portraits and scenes from Haven Night Shelter in Capetown, South Africa, make up this grouping of images by Barry.
Series was shot in the town of George and surrounding rural districts, between Capetown and Port Elizabeth, and portrays the life of impoverished residents. Subjects include an Anglican church congregation, a disabled farm laborer, and scenes from the city center, a municipal compound, and a village.
There are two copies of one print.
Images form part of a photo series entitled "Segregated Weekend," created with Joseph Alphers (images by Alphers are housed separately). Photos by Davies are of black children at an amusement park in Strandfontein, adults of color at the beach in Silwerstroomstrand and around an open-air gambling table in Guguletu, and a black soccer crowd in Durban.
These images capture the grueling nighttime travels of black commuters who ride buses from a large resettlement reserve called KwaNdebele to Pretoria in order to work. One print has two copies. Other images by Goldblatt can be found in the Then and Now series.
Konings' portraits are of a man in a migrant labor camp called Gordon's Bay, and a man and two male children at a migrant labor camp, Langa, near Capetown.
This body of work focuses on service workers, and poverty in Soweto and in resettlement camps. Images include portraits of women housekeepers and cleaners at work and at home, squatters and other people living in camps, and interiors of dwellings.
Images were taken at the homeland of Venda in the Transvaal Province, and at the Crossroads squatter camp near Capetown. Scenes include plastic shelters, a woman dismantling a temporary shelter before police raids, and portraits of the family members of a cattle owner.
One print of nighttime in a camp has two copies.
Image is of students confronting a candidate for Parliament in Cape Town; printed in two sizes.
Photographs come from two series that document single-sex men's compounds (created along with photographer Paul Alberts, whose images are in a separate folder), and life in the resettlement camps in the Ciskei homeland. Images document the process by which families are moved by the government from one camp to another, and daily life for the gold miners in the single-sex hostels.
Photograph of a migrant sheep shearer at work in Moorreesburg, from a series called Sheep shearers of the Karoo.
Series consists of portraits of squatters - men, women, and children - living in Hout Bay, a fishing community near Cape Town.
Nunn's photographs document the effects of the government's decentralization labor policies, portraying men and women commuters walking along a road at an industrial park in Isithebe, north of Durban, and an open-air barber working in the same industrial zone. Other images by Nunn can be found in the Beyond the Barricades, Then and Now, and Underexposed series.
There are two copies of one print.
Images were taken at a railway town where there is high unemployment and poverty. Scenes are of a family indoors, people dancing and gathering in the street, and a woman who lives under a bridge.
There are two copies of one print.
One image of female entrepreneurs - carpet sellers - in Umbumbulu, Kwazulu. Another print by Peters is found in the Beyond the Barricades series.
Image shows a farm laborer. Another image by Rajgopaul is found in the Beyond the Barricades series.
Images in one group document men, women, and children living in Alexandra township, near Johannesburg. Another series documents forced removals in Magopa and Rooigrond, and includes images of a vigil with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a classroom, a pensioner in his garden, and people in the process of being moved from their homes.
Images taken by Weinberg derive from three series: farmworkers and child labor in the Transvaal; farmers' association meetings and farm workers in Reserve Four (Kwazulu); and labor strikes in Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Durban. Other documentary images by Weinberg can be found in the Beyond the Barricades and Then and Now series.
One of the eight prints is unattributed to Weinberg but appeared in the series with his other prints; it is of a female child farm laborer. It does not appear in the book.
These prints by unidentified photographers depict black farmworkers, children at a UDF rally, an elderly black woman voter at the polls, and a long shot of traditional stone huts on an arid hillside.
These prints appeared with the Cordoned Heart series but are unattributed, and do not appear in the book. There are two copies of one print.
Photocopied pages from the Cordoned Heart portfolio, published in conjunction with the book by the same name, 1986. They consist of an introduction to the portfolio, a forward by Bishop Desmond Tutu, a poem which appeared in the book, and a list of the seven photographers and information on the prints. The original sheets are found in this collection in the portfolio box along with the original prints.
The Cordoned Heart series features the work of eight South African photographers documenting South Africa before and after apartheid: David Goldblatt, George Hallett, Eric Miller, Cedric Nunn, Guy Tillim, Paul Weinberg, Graeme Williams, and Gisèle Wulfsohn. The 160 color and black-and-white prints were shown together in a 2008 exhibit at Duke University, curated by South African photographer Paul Weinberg, and later published in book form.
The photographers were asked to contribute twenty of their most significant images: ten taken during South African apartheid, and ten taken in the years following democratic elections in 1994. The apartheid-era images portray the segregated and impoverished lives, street violence, protests, and funerals that marked these decades; and the rapidly changing social life, new relationships, continued political struggle, the AIDS crisis, and the after-effects of civil war that characterized the post-apartheid period.
The photographs in the two series "Then" and "Now" are a mix of black-and-white gelatin silver prints and color inkjet or chromotype prints, with many of the black-and-white prints coming from the earlier period and color from later decades. They all measure approximately 12x17 inches, and are housed in 16x20 inch hinged mats. Each photographer's 20-print set is divided into the two subgroups "Then" and "Now."
All of the images are available online as a Duke Libraries digital exhibit. The series also contains a digitized audio file of speakers and musicians recorded at the exhibition's opening, also available through the online exhibit. The speakers and musicians are: Kay-Robert Volkwijn, Karin Shapiro, Karen Jean Hunt, and Roger Lucey.
Goldblatt's images show National Party commandos, portraits of South Africans, street scenes in Johannesburg, landscapes, and life for whites and blacks in apartheid and post-apartheid in rural and urban South Africa. One portrait is of Margaret Mcingana from Soweto, who as a singer became known as Margaret Singana. Other images by Goldblatt can be found in the Cordoned Heart series.
Includes photographs of scenes from urban life during and after apartheid. Subjects include Cape Town's District Six before efforts to demolish it, two women meeting Nelson Mandela on his release from prison, and depictions of religious rituals in Johannesburg and Cape Town from 1994 to 2004. Among the portraits are many of exiled South African activists and writers, as well as intellectuals and activists living in South Africa after the fall of apartheid.
Images from the apartheid era document protests, arrests, riot police and military operations, and South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994. Color images from after the fall of apartheid include Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan, a women's soccer team, a Cape Town beach, and an LGBT street party in Cape Town. Other images are of an aid center and other scenes in South Sudan and a mental hospital in Sierra Leone.
Other images by Miller can be found in the Beyond the Barricades and Cordoned Heart series.
Images of life under apartheid are mainly from Kwazulu Natal, and include laborers and farmers, families, a funeral for youths killed in violence, a grieving mother, and a wedding party. Post-apartheid images are of street scenes in poor areas of Johannesburg, color portraits of South Africans, and a wedding party in Kwazulu Natal. There are also a few color images taken in Angola.
Other images by Nunn can be found in the Beyond the Barricades and Underexposed series.
Black-and-white photographs from the decades under apartheid depict rival groups fighting for control of a settlement in Cape Town in 1986, and life for rural people in Transkei. The color images taken post-apartheid include election rally scenes in Kinshasa with Congolese opposition leader Bemba, and several scenes from daily life in the Hillbrow apartment towers of Johannesburg and the suburb of Berea, Durban.
Other images by Tillim can be found in the Beyond the Barricades series.
Images taken during apartheid document life in 1980s poor areas of Johannesburg and rural locations, protesters and tanks, forced removals in Magopa, and a bushman in Namibia. Post-apartheid images are of ritual dances in Kwazulu Natal, political campaigning, rallies, repatriations following forced removals, and scenes related to the end of apartheid and a loosening of restrictions. With the exception of one print from "Now," all are black-and white images.
Other work by Paul Weinberg can be found in the Beyond the Barricades and Cordoned Heart series.
Images during the earlier period, in color as well as black-and-white, show a crowd clashing with police, an Inkatha member killed during a protest march, Archibishop Tutu calming a crowd, white re-enactors during the Day of the Vow celebrations at the Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria, a patient in an AIDS clinic, and other urban scenes. Later images in black-and-white and color document life for white and black residents of urban Johannesburg and South African townships; some of the color images tend to a more abstract design.
Other images by Williams can be found in the Underexposed series.
Wulfsohn's images from the apartheid era are mostly in color, and focus on affluent South Africans and their relationship with other communities; images show a polling station during democratic elections of 1994, domestics at work, and fashion designers at a photo shoot. Her post-apartheid images in this series feature black-and-white portraits of women activists Maniben Sita and Ellen Khuzwayo, and HIV positive men, women and children at home and in clinics. Other images by Wulfsohn can be found in the Underexposed series.
Audio mp3 file recording the opening event for the "Then and Now" exhibit at Duke University, with speakers and musicians. The file has been mounted to the library server; please consult with a reference archivist for access. It is also available through the home page of the online Duke University Libraries exhibit.
These images by relatively unknown and "underexposed" South African photographers were collected as part of a project sponsored by the Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town and photographer/curator Paul Weinberg. The photographs feature a variety of subjects, including South African political protests, family life, leisure pursuits, rural life, poverty, and work life. Some of the images were taken during the 1940s and 1950s - a significant glimpse into South African society and culture at the time.
The "Underexposed" series houses over 600 color and black-and-white prints. There are approximately 50 digital prints from each photographer, as well as a smaller number of vintage gelatin silver prints. Digital prints are 11.5x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints on Epson Archival Matte Paper.
Eleven photographers are represented: Rodney Barnett, Arthur Bolton, Basil Breakey, Anne Fischer, Jenny Gordon, David Hemson, Daniel Morolong, Cedric Nunn, Graeme Williams, Janje Wissema, and Gisèle Wulfsohn. The work of some of these photographers is also found in other series in this collection. Prints are grouped by photographer. The 151 prints that comprise the output of one photographer, Graeme Williams, are arranged in six topical subseries, and appear first. All other photographers are listed in alphabetical order.
There are six bodies of work arranged in alphabetical order; titles were assigned by the photographer. Four of the projects consist of gelatin silver (black-and-white) prints: Hlabisa AIDS Orphans, Interplays, Sacred Heart House, and Two Dogs. In addition, there are two series of color prints entitled Hard Ground and The Edge of Town. Each body of work is described fully in its subseries entry.
Images from The Edge of Town are also available on the library server as digital files. Please contact the Rubenstein Library's Research Services Department for access to these files.
A few images from Graeme William's projects in this series are also found in the Then and Now series in this collection.
The subseries consists of 22 5x7 inch color reference prints, and 48 8x10 inch color original prints. Images often resemble collages, with the camera capturing individuals and street scenes in the poor and disenfranchised areas of cities and townships, along with fragments of public artwork, graffiti, signs, and street advertisements. Box of 8x10 prints includes a photographer's statement essay on the project and a CD-ROM with image files.
Consists of 8.25 x 8.5 inch color portraits of mine workers posed individually or in groups in their work environments. Although they are mostly black men, there are also white workers as well as one woman. Comes with a photographer's statement and an inventory of images and titles. The images were commissioned by the University of Cape Town for an exhibit in the University's Chemical Engineering Building.
Series consists of 8x10 inch gelatin silver portraits of children, many of them HIV-positive, orphaned by the AIDS epidemic, taken by Graeme Williams in Hlabisa, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In many of the images, adult caretakers or relatives are pictured with the children. Settings are both inside and outside clinics and village homes. One print has an additional copy. From the photographer's online statement: "The portraits were taken in the Hlabisa District of KwaZulu-Natal in conjunction with Cotlands and its Home Based Care Project (Cotlands is a nationwide organisation caring for Aids orphans). Hlabisa has an abnormally high percentage of people suffering from HIV/Aids."
These 8x10 inch gelatin silver prints portray the daily life of and interactions between members of a Johannesburg communal household that included photographer Graeme Williams. Subjects include outdoor recreation, marriage and baptism, relationships between couples, parents and children, nudes, and scenes of life at home. A list of captions and a photographer's statement taken from the photographer's website is housed with the photographs.
Series consists of 8x10 inch gelatin silver portraits of staff, patients, and volunteers at a Catholic AIDS hospice in Kensington, Johannesburg. Sister Cecelia is among the staff; one image also shows a dying man with his sister. A few images were taken out of doors but most are interior shots.
A series of 8x10 inch gelatin silver action shots of two black dogs playing with athletic abandon on a beach at Pringle Bay near Cape Town.
Chiefly comprises portraits of South African men, women, and children in rural and urban settings; locations include Lesotho, Botswana, Cape Town, and Johannesburg. Other portraits are of individuals and groups in Greece, England, Peru, and Turkey. Scenes include people in the street, religious festivals and rites, herders, children playing, and family groups.
The bulk consists of formal portraits from about the 1940s to the 1960s of men, women, and children, almost all Zulu in tribal dress; most are commissioned studio portraits of couples, often with the man in Western dress, and individuals. Some were taken in outdoor settings and are portraits of young Zulu girls and women, and Westerners posing with Zulus. Also includes a group of photographs from the same period depicting members of Bolton's family.
Photographs in the subseries show South African jazz musicians, vocalists, bands, audiences, instruments, and other jazz-related themes.
These prints are almost all portraits of black and mixed-race individuals, chiefly residing in the Transkei (Xhosa people), Basutoland, and the settlement of Genadendal in the Western Cape. The photographs are undated but were taken sometime during the 1950s-1970s. The photographer focused especially on the elderly, children, and laborers.
Arranged into three projects with titles assigned by the photographer: Breathing Spaces, which focuses on portraits of people living in an industrial zone of Durban; the Mai Mai Project, images of residents of a migrant hostel in Johannesburg; and Johannesburg Portraits, images of families and individuals, young and old, living in inner city suburbs such as Hillbrow. All prints measure 11.75x16.5 inches and are black-and-white pigmented inkjet.
The subseries consists of black-and-white portraits of men, women and children primarily at homes in Merewent, Durban.
Consists of portraits of men and women in and around the Mai Mai migrant worker hostel in Johannesburg.
Portraits in Hillbrow and other Johannesburg inner city suburbs. Subjects are primarily portrayed at home.
Hemson's images center on political protests, especially anti-apartheid marches, populated by soldiers, protesters, political leaders, and spectators. There are also photographs of cranes, equipment, and workers in industrial settings, including the shipping port of Durban.
These early black-and-white and color images depict posed groups or informally gathered groups of black South Africans, especially at social clubs and other event locations. There are also multiple portraits of black athletes, chiefly boxers. There are many photographs of Morolong's family at home, at the beach, and elsewhere. Prints were produced in the 1980s.
The settings for these prints are mainly in rural South Africa and impoverished urban areas, and include locales in Durban, Arniston, and Magopa. Many of the images are portraits of elderly people, laborers, women and men, children, migrants, and squatters; there are also a few of political party activists. There are also a handful of images taken in Angola, chiefly of the effects of war in that country. The series includes six vintage prints from the 1980s in sizes varying from 8x10 to 16x20 inches.
Other images by Nunn can be found in the Beyond the Barricades, Cordoned Heart, and Then and Now series.
Chiefly portraits of children and adults of various ethnicities and religions on the street and at home in Cape Town's District Six. There are also photographs of buildings such as shanties, apartment houses, bungalows, stores, and churches, as well as images of demolished structures.
Photographs whose photographer has not been identified depict a black protester speaking at a rally or meeting, a white woman and toddler with a black servant, and an older black person in a poorly furnished dwelling with two toddlers.
Comprises two main bodies of work: one on South African individuals affected by or openly living with HIV/AIDS, and a 2006 series of portraits of female South African activists, including Amina Cachalia, Thandi Modise, Geina Mhlophe, Phyllis Naidoo, Bettie du Toit, Helen Suzman, Jean Sinclair, Adelaide Frances (Tshukudu) Tambo, and Ray Alexander Simons. Other images by Wulfsohn can be found in the Then and Now series.
Paul Alberts (1946- )
Alberts is a Cape Town freelance photojournalist who has served as arts editor for Die Burger magazine. He is founder and director of The Gallery Press. He has published photographs in major magazines and four photography books.
Joseph Alphers (1949- )
Alphers has worked as a commercial photographer, a photojournalist, and a photographer for the University of Bophuthatswana; his work in this collection dates from the 1970s. He was an Afrapix member.
Omar Badsha (1945- )
Badsha is a self-taught painter and photographer who became active as a photographer in the mid-1970s. He was an anti-apartheid activist, a labor organizer, and a founding member of Afrapix, as well as an editor of South Africa: The Cordoned Heart. He has published four books of photography, including one banned in South Africa, and manages the South African History Online project.
Rodney Barnett (1943-2000)
Barnett photographed in Johannesburg, elsewhere in Africa, and during world travels. He published several works of photography, and was a founder of South Africa's South Photographic Agency.
Michael Barry (1954- )
Barry spent a year as supervisor of The Haven Night Shelter in Cape Town, the site of some of his photographs. He has taught art in a Port Elizabeth high school, and was a member of the art collective Vukalisa.
Bee Berman (1949- )
Berman became a freelance news photographer in 1980. Her photographs have appeared in exhibitions and books in South Africa and elsewhere.
Arthur Bolton was a British radiologist who settled in KwaZulu Natal after the Second World War. He was a keen photographer whose work is predominantly about Zulu culture in the field as well as in the studio.
Basil Breakey's work focuses on South African jazz culture. He is best known for his photographs in Beyond The Blues: Township Jazz in the 1960s and 1970s.
Julian Cobbing (1944- )
Cobbing is a British historian of African history who has taught at Rhodes University in South Africa. He is known for his research on Zulu culture of the early 19th century.
Michael Davies (1955- )
Davies is a photographer and sculptor. As a photographer, he is known for his images of South African political struggle primarily from the 1980s. His work has been exhibited in South African group exhibitions.
Gille de Vlieg (1940- )
De Vlieg was born in England and emigrated to South Africa. She was a member of both the Black Sash movement and Afrapix. Her photographs of apartheid resistance and life under apartheid date from the 1980s.
Anne Fischer (1915-1986)
Fischer was a commercial studio photographer specializing in portraits. Her personal projects photographing rural South Africans date from approximately the 1940s.
David Goldblatt (1930- )
Goldblatt became a full-time photographer in 1963. He has worked as photography director and associate editor for Leadership S.A.. His photographs are held by numerous institutions, including the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the South African National Gallery, Cape Town. He was the founder of the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg.
Jenny Gordon (1955- )
Gordon became a freelance photojournalist in the 1980s. She also specializes in portraiture. She was the director of the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally and have been published in numerous books and periodicals.
Paul Grendon (1954- )
Grendon is a painter, curator, and freelance photographer whose photographic work dates from the 1980s. He was a member of Afrapix. His work has been exhibited in numerous venues.
George Hallett (1942- )
In the 1960s, Hallett photographed District Six in Cape Town before the neighborhood's destruction under apartheid. Between 1970 and 1995 he left South Africa for Europe, where much of his work focused on South African artists in exile. In 1994 he was one of a group of photographers documenting the first democratic election in South Africa for the Independent Electoral Commission. He was later commissioned to record the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Hartman was an Afrapix member who photographed apartheid resistance in the 1980s.
Hemson was a labor activist in Durban during the 1970s. He went on to become a sociologist and the research director of the Human Sciences Research Council in Durban.
Steve Hilton-Barber (1962-2002)
Hilton-Barber was a freelance journalist and a member of Afrapix. He was a founder of the SouthLight Photographic agency. During the 1990s he worked with several South African newspapers.
Paul Konings (1958- )
Konings was born in New Zealand and moved to Cape Town in 1975. He became a freelance photographer and graphic artist. His work dates from the 1970s, and has been included in several books.
Lesley Lawson (1952- )
Lawson has been a writer and photographer for the South African Council for Higher Education. She was a member of Afrapix. During the 1970s and 1980s her work focused on labor, women, and political activism; she later was moved to focus on HIV issues. She has published two books, one on working women and one on HIV.
Chris Ledechowski (1956- )
Ledechowski is a freelance photographer who has worked on various documentary projects in South Africa, in photography and film. He was a member of Afrapix. His photographs and hand-tinted portraits have been exhibited in South Africa.
Rashid Lombard (1951- )
Lombard has worked as a freelance photographer and photojournalist. He was a founder of the Cape Town Press Centre. He has been CEO of espAFRIKA, organizer of a major South African jazz festival. His work has been exhibited in a number of group exhibitions in South Africa. He was a member of the art collective Vukalisa.
Ben Maclennan (1956- )
Maclennan was born in Scotland and grew up in South Africa. He is a press photographer, reporter, and editor whose work dates from the 1970s. He has worked for the South African Press Association. He worked as photographer on the Surplus People Project in 1982. His photographs have been shown in African group exhibitions and were published in various works during the early 1980s.
Jimi Matthews (1955- )
Matthews has worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for international television networks, and he has been a member of the art collective Vukalisa. His photographs have been exhibited internationally.
Roger Meintjies (1963- )
Roger Meintjes' documentary work dates from the 1980s, during which time he was a member of the Afrapix collective. In the 1990s he was employed at the Robben Island Museum. Meintjies' photographs have been published in a number of books and magazines.
Gideon Mendel (1959- )
Mendel is a photojournalist who has worked for Agence France Press Photo Service. His photographs have appeared in Time, The New York Times, and other major magazines and newspapers.
Miller was a member of Afrapix. His work appeared in the Weekly Mail, the New Nation, and other progressive publications. Since 1994, Miller has photographed throughout Africa. Much of his South African work has focused on the transformation of society, especially in respect to housing, health, education, and labor. He has published a book on the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.
Santu Mofokeng (1956- )
Mofokeng freelanced through the Afrapix Photographers Collective, and has taught at the Institute for Advanced Social Research at the University of Witwatersrand. His work has been exhibited in South Africa and at the Guggenheim Museum. He received the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography Award in 1996.
Morolong was a press photographer covering social events in East London. His work dates from the 1950s and was exhibited in East London in 2003.
[No biographical information is currently available for Nkosi.]
Cedric Nunn (1957- )
Nunn's photographs date from 1981, when he began documenting apartheid issues. His photographs focused especially on rural areas. He was a founding member of Afrapix. In 1994 he was one of a group of photographers documenting the first democratic election in South Africa for the Independent Electoral Commission.
Paddock was a journalist who was active in the End Conscription Campaign, and he was a member of Afrapix. in 1982 he was imprisoned for a year for refusing military conscription. Paddock died in the early 1990s.
Berney Perez (1948- )
Perez is a freelance photographer. His work has been exhibited in group exhibitions in South Africa and elsewhere.
Myron Peters (1954- )
Peters was active in the Black Conciousness Movement and the Natal Indian Congress. While a student, he was an associate member of Afrapix. His photographs appeared in group exhibitions in South Africa and in a number of books. Peters went on to receive a Masters in Development Studies and worked in the South African government.
Qwazi is a photographer whose work dates from the 1980s. His work has covered anti-apartheid struggle and has been exhibited in South Africa.
Jeeva Rajgopaul (1952- )
Rajgopaul is a freelance documentary photographer. He was a member of Afrapix. He has been awarded the Earnest Cole Scholarship for Documentary Photography.
Wendy Schwegmann (1954- )
Schwegmann was a freelance photojournalist working for Reuters in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, and was a member of Afrapix. Her photographs are held in the South African National Gallery. Schwegmann went on to work for Reuters in London.
Guy Tillim (1962- )
Tillim began photographing professionally in 1986, and was a member of Afrapix. Since the 1990s, he has photographed throughout Africa and the world, often in war-torn areas. His work has received numerous awards, including the South African Mondi award for photojournalism, the Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Award, the Daimler Chrysler Award for South African Photography, and the Leica Oskar Barnack Award.
Vallie was a member of Afrapix. She documented anti-apartheid struggle in the 1980s.
Paul Weinberg (1956- )
Weinberg has been photographing professionally since 1978 and was a founder of the collective Afrapix. In addition to his own work which examines people, cultures, and human environments, he has photographed on assignment for newspapers, magazines, and non-governmental organizations. In 1993, Weinberg won a Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography Award. He is the Curator at the Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town and was instrumental in supporting the series of projects represented in part by the photographic work in this collection.
Graeme Williams (1961- )
Williams is a freelance photographer who works on documentary projects and magazine photography. Beginning in 1988, he worked for Reuters covering the resistance to apartheid and the movement toward African National Congress rule. His more recent color work focuses on the details of people’s lives as a means of exploring change and the lack of change in contemporary South African society. He has published a number of books.
Jansje Wissema (1920-1975)
Wissema was a pioneering woman photographer and documentary photographer. She was born in Holland and emigrated to South Africa. She is known for her published photographs of District Six in Cape Town before the neighborhood's destruction in the 1960s. Her work spans the 1940s through the 1970s.
Gisèle Wulfsohn (1957- )
Wulfson (1957-2011) was a freelance photographer. In the early 1980s, she worked for the Star newspaper and Style magazine. She was a member of Afrapix. In 1994, she was among the photographers commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to document the first democratic elections in South Africa. She was primarily concerned with gender issues, education, and health, and documented the manifestations of HIV/AIDS in South Africa since the late 1980s.
- Alex Harris Photographs and Papers, 1970-2013 and undated. (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
- David Goldblatt Photographs and Films, 1960-1976. (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
- Paul Weinberg Photographs, 1979-2004. (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
- Then and Now: Eight South African Photographers. (Duke Libraries Online Exhibits, Duke University)
- Harris, Alex and Iris Tillman Hill (eds.), Beyond the Barricades: Popular Resistance in South Africa. New York: Aperture, 1989. (Perkins/Bostock Library, Duke University)
- Weinberg, Paul (ed.), Then and Now: Eight South African Photographers. Johannesburg: Highveld Press, 2008. New York: Aperture, 1989. (Perkins/Bostock Library, Duke University)
- Wilson, Francis, South Africa: The Cordoned Heart. New York: W.W. Norton, 1986. New York: Aperture, 1989. (Perkins/Bostock Library, Duke University)
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Archive of Documentary Arts (Duke University)
- Duke University. Center for Documentary Studies
- Harris, Alex, 1949-
- University of Cape Town. Centre for Curating the Archive
- Weinberg, Paul
- Weinberg, Paul
- Weinberg, Paul
- Weinberg, Paul
- Weinberg, Paul
- Anti-apartheid movements -- South Africa
- Apartheid -- Africa
- Apartheid -- South Africa
- Documentary photography -- South Africa
- Protest movements -- South Africa
- South Africa -- Pictorial works
- South Africa -- Politics and government
- South Africa -- Race relations
- South Africa -- Social conditions -- 1961-1994
The South Africa documentary photographs collection was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as gifts from 1993-2011.
Processed by Katherine Castles, 2009-2010
Encoded by Katherine Castles and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, April 2010
Accessions 1993-0296, 1997-0011, 2008-0042, 2009-0151, 2010-0024, and 2011-0183 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.