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Guide to the South Africa Documentary Photographs Collection, 1940s-2007 and undated

Abstract

Alex Harris is a documentary photographer who co-founded the series of South African documentary projects represented in part by the works in this collection. The South Africa Documentary Photographs Collection consists of four series of 1,035 photographic images documenting South African social conditions under and after apartheid, dating from approximately the 1940s-2007: Beyond the Barricades, The Cordoned Heart, Then and Now, and Underexposed. Each series originated in an exhibition, book, or project developed jointly by Duke University and South African institutions. The collection represents the work of 44 South African photographers, many of whom were members of Afrapix, a collective photography agency that was politically active in the 1980s, or active in documenting anti-apartheid struggle. The fourth series, "Underexposed," includes older photographs dating from the 1940s and 1950s, with a focus on photographers considered less well-known at the time. The images take the form of black-and-white and color prints, chiefly gelatin silver and pigmented inkjet prints, ranging in size from 5x7 inch reference prints to 16x20 inch finished prints. There is a small amount of printed materials, and digital versions of some of the images. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Descriptive Summary

Title
South Africa Documentary Collection photographs
Creator
Harris, Alex, 1949-
Extent
48.5 linear feet, 1098 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

The South Africa Documentary Photographs Collection consists of four series of 1,035 photographs documenting South African social conditions during and after apartheid, dating from approximately 1940 to 2007: Beyond the Barricades, The Cordoned Heart, Then and Now, and Underexposed. Each series originated in an exhibition, book, or project developed jointly by the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and South African institutions such as the Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town. The collection represents the work of 44 South African photographers, many of whom were members of Afrapix, a collective photography agency that was politically active in the 1980s, or were otherwise active in documenting anti-apartheid struggle.

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. All photographers are described in a biographical section above, and they are listed in each series description below. Images consist of rural and urban South African scenes; images of events such as rallies, protests, forced removals, funerals, social gatherings, and labor activities; and portraits of individuals, including some well-known activists and politicians, men and women.

The images take the form of black-and-white and color prints, chiefly gelatin silver and pigmented inkjet prints, ranging in size from 5x7 inch reference prints to 16x20 inch finished prints, with some in museum-quality mats. There is a small amount of textual material documenting the photographs and their earlier exhibition. Many of the photographs are also available as digital images mounted on the library server; please contact a reference archivist for access. There is one digital audio file documenting an exhibit opening for Then and Now at Duke University, also available on the library server.

The Beyond the Barricades Series consists of 82 unmatted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints dating from 1980 to 1988. The photographs were taken as part of a project initiated by the collective photo agency Afrapix, which documented anti-apartheid struggle in the 1980s. Events portrayed include funerals, conflicts with police, rallies and demonstrations, and other political gatherings. Individuals appearing in the photographs include Chief Buthelezi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President P.W. Botha, and activists such as Billy Nair. Numerous anti-apartheid organizations are also represented in the images. The photographs in this series were published in the book Beyond the Barricades: Popular Resistance in South Africa (1989), and appeared in an accompanying exhibit.

The Cordoned Heart Series houses 191 gelatin silver prints, the bulk dating from between 1979 and 1984, taken by twenty South African photographers. There are both matted and unmatted prints. The series documents a crucial period of protest and social upheaval in South African history, focusing on poverty and the daily lives of people living under apartheid. Textual materials from the exhibit South Africa: The Cordoned Heart, which appeared originally at the International Center of Photography in 1986, are also housed in this series; they include exhibit brochures and an exhibit installation guide.

The Then and Now Series consists of 160 prints taken by eight South African photographer sdocumenting South Africa before and after apartheid, ranging in date from 1963 to 2006. The series originated in a 2008 exhibition at Duke University curated by South African photographer Paul Weinberg, entitled "Then and Now: Eight South African Photographers. The exhibit comprised ten photographs from each photographer covering the period of apartheid and ten from the period following democratic elections in 1994. All of the images are available in an online exhibit. The series also contains a digitized audio file recorded at the exhibition's opening, also available through the online exhibit page.

The final series, Underexposed, is comprised of 602 prints documenting the work of eleven South African photographers. Prints are pigmented inkjet, gelatin silver, and color, with dates ranging from approximately the 1950s to 2007. The series originated in a project of the Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town. The project emphasized photographers considered relatively unknown and underexposed, hence the name of the project. The series includes a significant number of women photographers. Photographs depict a variety of subjects, including political protest, family life, leisure, portraits, rural and impoverished social conditions, and labor conditions.

Photographers whose work is represented in this collection are: Paul Alberts (1946- ); Joseph Alphers (1949- );Omar Badsha (1945- ); Rodney Barnett (1943-2000); Michael Barry (1954- ); Bee Berman (1949- ); Arthur Bolton; Basil Breakey; Julian Cobbing (1944- ); Michael Davies (1955- ); Gille de Vlieg (1940- ); Anne Fischer (1915-1986); David Goldblatt (1930- ); Jenny Gordon (1955- ); Paul Grendon (1954- ); George Hallett (1942- ); Dave Hartman; David Hemson; Steve Hilton-Barber (1962-2002); Paul Konings (1958-); Lesley Lawson (1952- ); Chris Ledechowski (1956- ); Rashid Lombard (1951- ); Ben Maclennan (1956- ); Jimi Matthews (1955- ); Roger Meintjies (1963- ); Gideon Mendel (1959- ); Eric Miller; Santu Mofokeng (1956- ); Daniel Morolong; Themba Nkosi; Cedric Nunn (1957- ); Billy Paddock; Berney Perez (1948- ); Myron Peters (1954- ); Chris Qwazi; Jeeva Rajgopaul (1952- ); Wendy Schwegmann (1954- ); Guy Tillim (1962- ); Zubeida Vallie; Paul Weinberg (1956- ); Graeme Williams (1961- ); Jansje Wissema (1920-1975); and Gisèle Wulfsohn (1957- ).

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

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.

warning Use Restrictions

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.

Contents of the Collection

Beyond the Barricades Series, 1981-1988

2 boxes

Consists of 82 unmatted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints dating from 1981 to 1988. The photographers were South Africans who were primarily 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 document social and political protest in South Africa during the 1980s; events include funerals, conflicts with police, rallies and demonstrations, and other political gatherings. Individuals appearing in the photographs include Chief Buthelezi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President P.W. Botha, and activists such as Billy Nair. 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, and the United Democratic Front (UDF).

The images were taken by twenty South African photographers: 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. There are also six prints by unidentified photographers. The series is arranged alphabetically by photographer.

Photographs are not dated or captioned. The bulk of the photographs are described in the book Beyond the Barricades. Many of the photographs are also available as digital images mounted on the library server; please contact a reference archivist for access.

Omar Badsha, 1981-1987
(15 prints)

Photographs, 12x16 gelatin silver prints, document South African political organizations and individuals: the ANC Women's League, the United Democratic Front (UDF), Inkatha, and Chief Buthelezi. They depict protests, strikes, police confronting activists, and other events under apartheid. .

Box 1
Julian Cobbing, 1986
(2 prints)

Photographs document protest by the ANC and the UDF.

Box 1
Gille de Vlieg, 1984-1986
(5 prints)

Photographs include FEDTRAW protest, police violence, and a speech by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Box 1
Paul Grendon, 1985
(1 print)

Photograph depicts a funeral following a police shooting.

Box 1
Dave Hartman, 1985-1986
(4 prints)

Photographs depict protest and UNC and UDF funerals.

Box 1
Steve Hilton-Barber, 1986-1987
(2 prints)

Photographs depict the Port Elizabeth Youth Congress, funerals, and protest.

Box 1
Rashid Lombard, 1985
(1 print)

Photograph depicts a United Women's Organization protest.

Box 1
Roger Meintjies, 1987
(2 prints)

Photographs depict ANC and UDF protest.

Box 1
Gideon Mendel, 1985-1987
(13 prints)

Photographs depict UDF protests, funerals, police and right-wing violence, and other events of protest and violence under apartheid.

Box 1
Eric Miller, 1986-1987
(3 prints)

Photographs depict the National Union of Mine Workers and COSATU events.

Box 1
Santu Mofokeng, 1987
(1 print)

Photograph depicts mourning for the death of an ANC member.

Box 1
Themba Nkosi, 1985
(1 print)

Photograph depicts police and the body of a protester.

Box 1
Cedric Nunn, 1986-1988
(2 prints)

Photographs depict Inkatha.

Box 2
Billy Paddock, 1986-1987
(3 prints)

Photographs depict funerals and Pondo/Zulu violence.

Box 2
Myron Peters, 1984
(1 print)

Photograph depicts the Natal Indian Congress.

Box 2
Chris Qwazi, 1986
(1 print)

Photograph captures police and funeral mourners.

Box 2
Jeeva Rajgopaul, 1986
(1 print)

Photograph depicts a labor strike.

Box 2
Guy Tillim, 1986
(3 prints)

Photographs represent a funeral, a rally, and vigilante violence.

Box 2
Subeida Vallie, 1985
(1 print)

Photograph of a funeral.

Box 2
Paul Weinberg, 1980-1987
(14 prints)

Photographs document the UDF, the ANC, the Leandra Youth Congress, the Food and Allied Workers Union, and other groups under apartheid.

Box 2
Unidentified
(6 prints)

Photographs depict protest, families, a jazz event, and portrayals of everyday life.

Box 2

The Cordoned Heart Series, 1979-1984 and undated

15 boxes

The Cordoned Heart Series is a collection of 191 matted and unmatted gelatin silver prints of images taken by South African photographers and dating from between 1979 and 1984. Also contains digital versions of the images and textual materials from the exhibit "South Africa: The Cordoned Heart," curated by Alex Harris, Margaret Sartor, and Cornell Capa. The images derive from the Cordoned Heart exhibit, which appeared originally at the International Center of Photography in 1986 and toured for a number of years afterwards. The Cordoned Heart exhibit was the culmination of a documentary project by the photographic collective Afrapix, as part of the Second Carnegie Inquiry into Poverty and Development in South Africa. An accompanying book, South Africa: The Cordoned Heart (1986), was edited in part by Afrapix member Omar Badsha.

The series documents a crucial period of protest and social upheaval in South African history, focusing 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: 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. 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. Many of the photographs are also available as digital images mounted on the library server; please contact a reference archivist for access.

The Cordoned Heart Series is physically arranged by size of prints and matting. In some cases, prints grouped by size and mat size have variable window sizes. Photographs are arranged in the finding aid by photographers, listed alphabetically. Textual materials are placed at the end of the series; materials for the Cordoned Heart portfolio are with the original photographs rather than the portfolio prints.

All matted prints except the ten Cordoned Heart portfolio prints show dates and captions. The portfolio prints are captioned in the accompanying text. Unmatted prints are not dated or captioned, but dates and captions for some are listed in the textual materials at the end of the series, based on the book The Cordoned Heart.

Paul Alberts, 1979-1982 and undated

Images depict scenes from Capetown and rural areas with subjects such as unemployed men, children playing, families, and women cooking.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(12 prints)
Box 3
16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 14
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(6 prints)
Box 5
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 6
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 15

Joseph Alphers, 1983 and undated

Images show unemployed and working men as well as soccer and other activities in rural areas.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(6 prints)
Box 3
Cordoned Heart portfolio: matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 12
16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 14
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(2 prints)
Box 15

Omar Badsha, 1981-1983 and undated

Photographs depict daily life of unemployed men, pensioners, people at home, people plastering a house, a funeral, street scenes, and township scenes; also included are religous events, protest meetings and march, and a pension payout. Some images were shot in urban and rural Lesoto.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(11 prints)
Box 3
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(4 prints)
Box 6
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(4 prints)
Box 7
16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(5 prints)
Box 14
Cordoned Heart portfolio: matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(3 prints)
Box 12
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(3 prints)
Box 15
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(2 prints)
Box 16

Michael Barry, 1980 and undated

Portraits and scenes from Haven Night Shelter make up this grouping of images by Barry.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(2 prints)
Box 3
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(2 prints)
Box 7
16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 14
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 16

Bee Berman, undated

Images depict a municipal compound and a religious event.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(3 prints)
Box 3
16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 14
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 16

Michael Davies, undated

Contains images of children at an amusement park.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(4 prints)
Box 3
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(multiple prints)
Box 8

David Goldblatt, undated

Photographs depict bus commuters, a woman protesting on the street, and Desmond Tutu speaking at a funeral.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(7 prints)
Box 3
Cordoned Heart portfolio: matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 12
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 16

Paul Konings, 1980

Konings' images capture scenes from migrant labor camps.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(2 prints)
Box 3

Lesley Lawson, 1984

Images are portraits of a man and child from a rural settlement and of cleaners.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(5 prints)
Box 3

Chris Ledechowski, 1983 and undated

Photographs show Crossroads squatter camp, temporary shelters, and agricultural scenes.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(7 prints)
Box 3
Cordoned Heart portfolio: matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 13
16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 14
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 16

Rashid Lombard, undated

Images were taken at a political demonstration.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 3

Ben Maclennan, 1980-1982 and undated

Photographs document migrant work life, depicting scenes at a gold mine hostel, people being removed to other lands, trucking, and a mine workers' compound. Other images show rural scenes, socializing, and families.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(5 prints)
Box 4
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(7 prints)
Box 9
Cordoned Heart portfolio: matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(2 prints)
Box 13
16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 14
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 16

Jimi Matthews, undated

Photograph of a man shearing a sheep.

12x16 inch gelatin silver print
(1 print)
Box 4

Gideon Mendel, 1984 and undated

Images show a rural family, women, children, and an old man.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(4 prints)
Box 4
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(2 prints)
Box 9

Cedric Nunn, 1983 and undated

Nunn's photographs capture scenes at an industrial park and a woman indoors.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(3 prints)
Box 4
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 10

Berney Perez, undated

Images feature a funeral, a body on the street, and a woman outdoors.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(4 prints)
Box 4

Myron Peters, 1984

Images include events and daily life such as a political meeting and men selling carpets.

Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 10

Jeeva Rajgopaul, 1983 and undated

Images show women gardeners and portraits of men. 11x14 prints were sent from Rajgopaul to the Duke Center for Documentary Studies, separately from the Cordoned Heart exhibition.

11x14 gelatin silver prints
(10 prints)
Box 4
Matted 12x16 prints
(1 print)
Box 10

Wendy Schwegmann, 1983-1984 and undated

Images capture life in the rural areas, focusing on schoolrooms, landscapes, men, women, and children. Other images show forced removals, a funeral, a vigil with Desmund Tutu, women voting, and former gang members.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(10 prints)
Box 4
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(5 prints)
Box 10
Cordoned Heart portfolio: matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 13

Paul Weinberg, 1984 and undated

Images taken by Weinberg include portraits and scenes depicting farm workers, union meetings, prison labor, strikes.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(7 prints)
Box 4
Matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(6 prints)
Box 11
Cordoned Heart portfolio: matted 12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(1 print)
Box 13
16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(5 prints)
Box 14
Matted 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
(2 prints)
Box 16

Unidentified photographers, undated

These six prints by unidentified photographers depict farmworkers, an election, and rural landscapes in South Africa.

12x16 inch gelatin silver prints
(6 prints)
Box 4
Cordoned Heart exhibit description and installation materials
Box 17

Then and Now Series, 1963-2006

16 boxes

Consists of 160 prints documenting South Africa before and after apartheid. The series originated in a 2008 exhibition at Duke University curated by South African photographer Paul Weinberg, and includes the work of eight South African photographers: David Goldblatt, George Hallett, Eric Miller, Cedric Nunn, Guy Tillim, Paul Weinberg, Graeme Williams, and Gisèle Wulfsohn. The exhibition featured twenty photographs from each photographer: ten photographs taken during apartheid, and ten taken during the period following democratic elections in 1994. All of the images are available in an online exhibit. The series also contains a digitized audio file recorded at the exhibition's opening, also available through the online exhibit.

Arranged alphabetically by photographer. Many of the photographs are also available as digital images mounted on the library server; please contact a reference archivist for access.

David Goldblatt

Goldblatt's images show National Party supporters, landscapes, and life in rural and urban South Africa.

Box 18-19
George Hallett

Includes photographs of Cape Town's District Six before its destruction under apartheid, two women meeting Nelson Mandela, scenes from urban life, and depictions of religious ceremonies in Johannesburg and Cape Town from 1994 to 2004.

Box 20-21
Eric Miller

Images depict protests, arrests, police and military operations, as well as images from a mental hospital, everyday life, and religious ceremonies and street festivals.

Box 22-23
Cedric Nunn

Collection includes portraits of men, women and families, a funeral, weddings, and life in post-apartheid Johannesburg.

Box 24-25
Guy Tillim

Includes photographs depicting rival groups fighting for control of a settlement in Cape Town in 1986, life in Transkei, an election rally, and urban life in Johannesburg.

Box 26-27
Paul Weinberg

Images depict life in 1980s Johannesburg, protests, rural life, outdoor scenes, and political rallies.

Box 28-29
Graeme Williams

Images depict a crowd clashing with police, a protester killed during a march, a clinic, and life in Cape Town and Johannesburg in 1997-2005.

Box 30-31
Gisèle Wulfsohn

Includes images of an election polling station, children in Durban and Pretoria, urban life in Johannesburg, and portraits of men, women and children, including people afflicted with HIV and AIDS.

Box 32-33
Exhibit Opening, audio file
(120 MB)

Audio mp3 file recording the opening event for the Then and Now exhibit at Duke University. The file has been mounted to the library server; please consult with a reference archivist for access.

Box 32-33

Underexposed Series, 1940s-2007 and undated

17 boxes

These images originated from a project of the Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town to collect the work of South African documentary photographers considered relatively unknown and "underexposed" at the time. Photographs feature a variety of subjects, including South African political protests, family life, leisure pursuits, rural and impoverished social conditions, and working conditions. Eleven photographers are included: Rodney Barnett, Arthur Bolton, Basil Breakey, Anne Fischer, Jenny Gordon, David Hemson, Daniel Morolong (some of whose work was created in the earliest years), Cedric Nunn, Graeme Williams, Janje Wissema, and Gisèle Wulfsohn.

The series houses over 600 photographic prints, including both color and black-and-white images. There are approximately 50 digital prints from each photographer, as well as a smaller number of gelatin silver prints. Digital prints are 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints on Epson Archival Matte Paper. Prints were distributed to both the Centre for Curating the Archive in Cape Town and Duke University's Archive of Documentary Arts.

Prints are grouped by photographer. The gelatin silver prints of one photographer, Graeme Williams, are arranged in five topical subseries, and appear first. All other photographers are arranged in alphabetical order. All measurements are in inches unless otherwise noted. Graeme Williams images are available on the library server; please contact a reference archivist for assistance.

Graeme Williams

103 prints

Arranged by subseries, with titles assigned by the photographer. There are five topical subseries arranged in alphabetical order, consisting of 8x10 inch black-and-white gelatin silver prints: Hard Ground, Hlabisa AIDS Orphans, Interplay, Sacred Heart House, and Two Dogs. In addition, there is a subseries of 8x10 color prints and 5x7 inch reference prints entitled The Edge of Town.

The Edge of Town, undated
(70 prints)

The subseries consists of 22 5x7 inch and 48 8x10 inch color reference prints. Images often resemble collages, with the camera capturing individuals and street scenes framed alongside public artwork and street advertisements and signs. Box of 8x10 prints includes an essay on the project and a CD-ROM with image files.

Box 34, 34-A
Hard Ground, 2003
(22 prints)

Consists of 8.25x8.5 inch color portraits of mine workers individually or in groups, posed in their working environment. The images were commissioned by the University of Cape Town for an exhibit in the university's Chemical Engineering Building.

Box 35
Hlabisa AIDS Orphans, circa 2001
(19 prints)

Prints are 8x10 inch gelatin silver; the images were taken in Hlabisa, KwaZulu-Natal. The bulk are portraits of children at home or outside.

Box 36
Interplay, 1989-circa 1997
(18 prints)

These 8x10 inch gelatin silver prints portray the recreation and family life of members of a Johannesburg group household that included photographer Graeme Williams. Subjects include outdoor recreation, parents and children, nudes, and scenes of life at home. A list of captions taken from the photographer's website is housed with the photographs.

Box 37
Sacred Heart House, circa 1991
(11 prints)

8x10 inch gelatin silver depicting staff and patients at a Catholic AIDS hospice in Kensington, Johannesburg.

Box 38
Two Dogs, 1999-2000
(11 prints)

A series of 8x10 inch gelatin silver prints of two black dogs playing on a beach at Pringle Bay near Cape Town.

Box 39

Rodney Barnett

49 prints

The subseries covers a variety of themes and geographic locations, some outside South Africa.

Black-and-white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 40

Arthur Bolton

38 prints

The bulk consists of formal portraits of men, women, and children in African dress; some are studio portraits and some are posed in outdoor settings.

Black-and-white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 41

Basil Breakey

47 prints

Photographs in the subseries show jazz musicians, bands, audiences, instruments, and other jazz-related themes.

Black-and-white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 42

Anne Fischer

52 prints

Themes include scenes of rural village life and portraiture.

Black-and-white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 43

Jenny Gordon

58 prints

Arranged by subseries, with titles assigned by the photographer. There are three topical subseries: Breathing Spaces, Mai Mai Project, and Johannesburg Portraits.

Breathing Spaces: Environmental Portraits of Durban's Industrial South, 2002-2007
(19 prints)

The subseries consists of portraits of men, women and children primarily at home in Merewent, Durhan.

Box 44
Mai Mai Project
(19 prints)

Consists of portraits of men and women in and around a migrant worker hostel in Johannesburg.

Box 44
Johannesburg Portraits, 1980s
(20 prints)

Portraits in Hillbrow and other Johannesburg inner city suburbs. Subjects are primarily portrayed at home.

Box 44

David Hemson

46 prints

Hemson's images center on political protests, especially anti-apartheid marches. There are also photographs of industrial settings and workers.

Black-and-white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 45

Daniel Morolong, 1940s-1960s

48 prints

Photographs depict posed groups or informally gathered groups of South Africans, especially at social events at clubs and other locations. There are many photographs of Morolong's family at home, at the beach, and elsewhere.

Color and black-and-white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 46

Cedric Nunn

60 prints

The bulk of the Cedric Nunn photographs feature scenes and portraits taken in rural South Africa and impoverished urban areas, depicting rural villages, urban street scenes, and inhabitants.

Color and black-and-white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 47
8x10, 12x16, and 16x20 inch gelatin silver prints
Box 48

Jansje Wissema

51 prints

Chiefly portraits of children and adults on the street and at home.

Black-and-white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 49

Gisèle Wuhfsohn

50 prints

Chiefly portraits of women. Includes portraits of women political activists such as Amina Cachalia, Thandi Modise, and Ray Alexander Simons. There are also scenes of families and friends at home or at play.

Color and black and white 11.7x16.5 inch pigmented inkjet prints
Box 50

Historical Note

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. He was an Afrapix member. His work dates from the 1970s.

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

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

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.

Dave Hartman

Hartman was an Afrapix member who photographed apartheid resistance in the 1980s.

David Hemson

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.

Eric Miller

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.

Daniel Morolong

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.

Themba Nkosi

[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.

Billy Paddock

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.

Chris Qwazi

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.

Zubeida Vallie

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 is 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 is primarily concerned with gender issues, education, and health. She has been documenting the manifestations of HIV/AIDS in South Africa since the late 1980s.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Harris, Alex and Iris Tillman Hill (eds.). Beyond the Barricades: Popular Resistance in South Africa. New York: Aperture, 1989. (Perkins/Bostock Library, Duke University)
  • Alex Harris Photographs and Papers, 1970-2003 (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 Digital Collections)
  • Weinberg, Paul (ed.). Then and Now: Eight South African Photographers. Johannesburg: Highveld Press, 2008. (Perkins/Bostock Library, Duke University)
  • Wilson, Francis. South Africa: The Cordoned Heart. New York: W.W. Norton, 1986. (Perkins/Bostock Library, Duke University)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], South Africa Documentary Photographs Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Provenance

The prints and other materials in the South Africa Documentary Photographs Collection were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as gifts from 1993-2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Katherine Castles, March 2010

Encoded by Katherine Castles and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, April 2010

Accessions 1993-0296, 1997-0011, 2008-0042, 2009-0151, and 2010-0024 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.