Photographic Histories and Practices in Southern Africa

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Taking Santu Mofokeng’s The Black Photo Album as a starting point indicative of the medium’s multiple and complex history in Southern Africa, this chapter explores a series of overlapping historiographical threads. First, the chapter considers the ways in which the South Africa apartheid state (1948-1990), and opposition to it through the anti-apartheid struggle, has dominated historical accounts of photography in Southern Africa. Second, turning to more recent scholarship, the chapter seeks to deepen interpretation of the photography of this period in South Africa, and extend consideration to photographic histories of anti-colonial struggles in Mozambique and Namibia. Third, space is given to reviewing current research focused on the recovery and re-exhibition of previously neglected studio and vernacular collections. In conclusion, the chapter reflects on contemporary photographic practices in Southern Africa, and their negotiation of the medium’s regional history.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Photography Studies
EditorsGil Pasternak
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781474242202
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020


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