Photographic Collections

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Beyond the Barricades
Beyond the Barricades (Editors, Omar Badsha, Gideon Mendel and Paul Weinberg). This important collection (book and exhibition) of photographs by twenty South African photographers, mainly from the photographic collective, Afrapix, represents as written in the book, “an eloquent and searing testimony of the communal struggle as witnessed and expressed by South Africans.” It has become an indispensable anthology of popular resistance in South Africa during the 1980’s. The collection highlights one of the longest and bloodiest periods of political resistance to apartheid, a time of mass mobilization and brutal repression when taking of images was often a matter of life and death. This digital collection is from the book, the full collection is housed in Special Collections, UCT Libraries.
Independent Newspapers Archive
This significant, under threat and extensive archive of about 850 000 images, now housed at UCT, spans a period from about the 1900’s – 2000. The archive has been identified as having highly significant social history and heritage value with a particular connection to Cape Town, Western Cape and UCT. Topics range from social conditions in and around Cape Town, key protests in pre- and post apartheid periods as well as a broad spectrum of political activity, sport and very large collection of images on prominent figures (sport, social, political). UCT Libraries has selected and scanned nearly 6 000 images with appropriate metadata. It will complement other collections on the history of Cape Town and the province in Special Collections. The archive intersects with History, Film and Media Studies, Sociology, and African Studies and is a valuable portal of our regional social history.
The Cordoned Heart
Cordoned Heart (Editor and Curator, Omar Badsha). This collection of images were taken by 28 photographers for the Second Carnegie Inquiry into Poverty and Development in 1983. The exhibition toured South Africa and different parts of the world. In many ways it was something like The Farm Security Administration Project that took place in USA in the 1930s. The photographic essays explored, as the book suggested, ‘beyond the cordon thrown by the apartheid state into the heart of this complex and deeply troubled society.’ It was, at the time, the largest documentary project that examined poverty and development in South Africa and has become a milestone in the visual history of our country. The full physical collection is housed in Special Collections, UCT Libraries and this selection here is what appeared in the book.
Then & Now
Consisting 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.

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