Photographers

Primary tabs

Anne Fischer
Anne Fisher was born in 1915 in Berlin and orphaned at 16. After training as a photographer’s apprentice in a portrait studio in Germany, she fled that country shortly before World War II and arrived in Cape Town in 1937 as a penniless Jewish refugee. There she established a reputation as a fine portrait photographer and a master of lighting and ran a flourishing commercial business. By the 1960s she was regarded as Cape Town’s pre-eminent wedding photographer. Several other prominent women photographers of the time, including Jansje Wissema, trained in her studio. Anne Fisher was not only a successful commercial photographer: she also produced a body of documentary work, mainly in the rural areas of the former Transkei and Basutoland, where she photographed many African women. She also photographed the poor, ‘coloured’ mission village of Genadendal in the Western Cape. Though documentary in style, this body of work is without the overt political agendas of some of her contemporaries and is closer in style to her commercial roots in portraiture, though Fisher’s subjects in these documentary photographs are a far cry from the well-heeled clients of her Cape Town studio.
Arthur Bolton
Arthur Bolton was a radiologist who settled in KwaZulu Natal after the Second World War. He was keen photographer whose work is predominently about Zulu culture in the field as well in a studio. He also worked with the Killie Campbell Museum in Durban. This body of work which has been looked after by his daughter Gail Catlin has recently come to light. It reflects his close interest in Zulu people from the period 1940-1960 as well his documentation on his family. These two worlds, the outside and the inside represent a very interesting dialogue running through this collection.
Basil Breakey
Basil Breakey is best known for his photographs of the twilight years of the dynamic jazz subculture that flourished in South Africa, and particularly in Johannesburg, until the early 1960s, when it was finally crushed by the apartheid state.
Cedric Nunn
Cedric Nunn was born in Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal in 1957. He began photographing in the early 1980s, largely to document the realities of apartheid which he believed were being ignored by the mainstream media. In more recent years he has focused on documenting social change, particularly in rural areas.
Daniel Morolong
Daniel Morolong’s photographs tell the ‘other’ story of life in the black urban residential areas of the city, at a time when apartheid’s political agendas were beginning to unfold. The authorities and the residents of East London’s locations have always seen and understood the locations differently. To the authorities, they were overcrowded and filthy, a breeding ground for poverty, disease and crime. These conditions were seen to reflect the characters of people – somehow less than human. Racist images of people and the locations dominated public life. These photographs on show how residents saw the locations. They portray life in the locations as rich, dynamic and vibrant. In an extraordinary way they show the very ordinary nature of social life and living and therefore picture aspects of life that apartheid denied and 'whiteness' kept hidden. Despite a long list of artificial restrictions imposed by apartheid on their lives, location residents made their own definitions of what it really meant to be 'the other’ in white South Africa. As such, when they remember their lives in these old locations, it is neither the poverty nor the hardship that they remember most. Rather, it is the social diversity, cultural vibrancy and sense of identity that first come to mind.
Dorothea Bleek
Dorothea Bleek was the fifth daughter of Dr Wilhelm Bleek, the noted philologist, who, with his sister-in-law, Lucy Lloyd, did an enormous and pioneering job of recording the language and folklore of the /Xam and the !Kung in the late 19th century. Dorothea Bleek continued the work of her father and aunt, recording and documenting the San languages of Southern Africa and publishing books and articles based both on her own work and theirs. Her most important work, published after her death, was A Bushman Dictionary. She undertook many expeditions in the course of her research on the different San groups, their languages and rock art. In 1910 she visited the area near Prieska in the northern Cape, from where some of the San informants interviewed by her father and aunt had originated. Subsequent travels included trips to other parts of the northern Cape, the eastern Transvaal, South West Africa (present Namibia), Bechuanaland (Botswana), Angola and Tanganyika.
Giséle Wulfsohn
Gisèle Wulfsohn is a freelance photographer based in Johannesburg. In the early 1980s, she worked for the Star newspaper and Style magazine. By the mid-80s, she had joined Afrapix, a photographic collective that documented the anti-apartheid struggle. In 1994, she was among the photographers commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to document the first democratic elections in South Africa. In post-apartheid South Africa, Wulfsohn has worked on assignment for numerous local and international publications and non-government organizations. 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.
Graeme Williams
Graeme Williams was born in Cape Town in 1961. He studied geology and statistics but chose to work as a freelance photographer. Williams settled in Johannesburg in 1988 where he worked for Reuters covering the resistance to apartheid and the movement toward African National Congress rule. Since South Africa’s transition to democracy, he has increasingly concentrated on documentary projects and magazine work. Williams’ photography has been exhibited in South Africa, Europe, Australia, and the United States, and is held in a number of permanent collections. His latest 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.
Greg Marinovich
Greg Marinovich, born in South Africa in 1962, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and is co-author of The Bang Bang Club, a non-fiction book and film on South Africa’s transition to democracy. He has spent 18 years doing conflict, documentary and news photography around the globe.  His photographs have appeared in top international publications such as Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian of London, among others. He is chair of the World Press master Class nominating committee for Africa, and was a World Press Photo judge in 1994, as well as convenor of the FujiFilm awards in 2000. For the last decade he has been photographing, making films and writing as a freelancer. He has done a lot of teaching and mentoring and is presently involved in a storytelling multi-media across Africa. He is the initiator of the Open Society photography project.
Guy Tillim
Guy Tillim was born in Johannesburg in 1962. He completed a degree in commerce at the University of Cape Town, but turned to full-time photography instead. In 1986 he joined Afrapix, a collective of South African photographers that supplied news and feature images -- notably about the struggle against apartheid -- to the local and international media. In that period he worked for Reuters in South Africa, and he also worked for Agence France Presse in the run-up to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. From 1990 onwards Tillim broadened the scope of his work to Africa and elsewhere. He worked on assignment for various international publications, but also pursued his own projects, resulting in a number of major documentary essays From 1998 onwards he has increasingly concentrated on his own work. He now lives in Cape Town. Tillim’s work has been exhibited throughout the world, and is held in various permanent collections.
Paul Grendon
Paul Grendon is a Cape Town based photographer and a graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT. He joined the Afrapix collective in the 1980’s and has worked as a documentary photographer and photographic curator since then. His defining career work was on the communities who struggled to regain control of their land in Namaqualand during Apartheid and he is presently working on a long term project on the church bands of the Cape Flats.
Paul Weinberg
(b. 1956) Paul Weinberg’s ‘home’ is in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. He has a large body of work, which focuses on the people, life, culture and environment around him from a perspective of ‘beyond the news and beyond the headlines’. He has worked for NGOs, magazines and newspapers in southern Africa and abroad, and he was a founder member of the Afrapix collective and South Photo Agency. Weinberg's images have been widely exhibited and published, and he continues to work on projects in photography, and occasionally film, exploring themes about environment, people and culture. Weinberg has taught at the Centre of Documentary Studies at Duke University in the USA, and is currently Senior Curator of Special Collections at the University of Cape Town Libraries.
Stan Winer
Winer is a veteran South African freelance photojournalist. His work has been syndicated internationally by Camera Press agency (London) and published by a wide range of foreign mass media publications. The banned, London-based International Defense and Aid Fund for SA commissioned him in 1973 to obtain clandestine photographs of apartheid conditions in SA for international anti-apartheid campaigns. He was arrested eventually by SA security police on trumped up allegations of “terrorism”, spent 90 days in detention, and was threatened with the death penalty in terms of the General Law Amendment Act, which made provision for the sentencing to death of activists who campaigned abroad for trade and economic sanctions against the apartheid regime. In 1977 he went into exile for 13 years. He has lived and worked in Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, UK, and Zimbabwe, eventually returning to SA in 1990, when exiled activists could return without fear of prosecution.

Share

Share