Through the Lenses of Anti-Apartheid Photographers

Through the Lenses of Anti-Apartheid Photographers
Adil Bradlow. A support rally for detainees held in Jamieson Hall at the University of Cape Town in 1986.

A Heritage Month exhibition by Anti-Apartheid Photographers at the Market Photo Workshop titled Martyrs, Saints, and Sell-outs

The Market Photo Workshop present Martyrs, Saints, and Sell-outs, a group exhibition through the lenses of anti-apartheid photographers Adil Bradlow, Benny Gool, and Zubeida Vallie.

The photographs of Adil Bradlow, Benny Gool and Zubeida Vallie are brought together for the first time in this group exhibition. From the early 1980s, these then-young photographers and friends were to be found with their cameras documenting contemporary South Africa. This while dodging security police, taking part in protests and being detained on several occasions. Their impressive collections show us a vivid narrative of violence, loss and injury. And, the reverberations of which are subdued in the rhetoric of the post-apartheid landscape.

The three anti-apartheid photographers

AdiI Bradlow

The first of the three anti-apartheid photographers in the exhibition is Adil Bradlow. He began working as a journalist in South Africa through photography covering the anti-apartheid struggle for the Associated Press. After 13 years as a photographer, he switched to television and began working for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. He has also worked for Cable News Network’s London Bureau, CBS News and televison news show 60 Minutes.

As a freelancer based out of Johannesburg, he works for a variety of news companies such as the British Broadcasting Corporation. This also includes Al Jazeera, Sky News and German public-service television broadcaster, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, both in South Africa and beyond. Between 2011 and 2012, Bradlow was the Director of Photography on a National Geographic TV series called Battleground Afghanistan. This was a five part series that followed the exploits of a platoon of US Marines in the southern province of Helmand.

He has covered the war on terror worldview throughout his career. He has also worked in hostile environments in Africa, Eastern Europe, South Asia, as well as the Middle East. Adil Bradlow is the co-receipient of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award for 2009.

Benny Gool

Through the Lenses of Anti-Apartheid Photographers
Benny Gool. Archbishop Tutu speaking in Khayelitsha where the ANC Women’s League pays tribute at a funeral of murdered civic leader, Michael Mapongwana in 1991.

Benny Gool is the second anti-apartheid photographer and an activist whose archive contains thousands of photographs documenting the liberation struggle, freedom and democracy. Throughout his career, he has documented the injustices of a divided nation and captured the stirring transition to democracy. Including, the tumultuous truth and reconciliation process, and South Africa’s “homecoming” as a respected member of the global community.

Benny Gool began his 20-year career as a professional photographer/camera operator at the alternative newspaper Grassroots. He then worked at the Cape Times, going on to become the chief photographer for the paper. His photographs have been published across the world, and have garnered national awards. These include the Fuji Press Photographer of the Year in 1996, and a commendation for the Ruth First Award for Courageous Journalism in 1997. He is currently working as a freelance cameraman/director.

Zubeida Vallie

Through the Lenses of Anti-Apartheid Photographers
Zubeida Vallie. Attorney Christine Berger, Colleen Lombard and (unknown) outside the Supreme High Court during the Yengeni Trial.

The last of the three anti-apartheid photographers is, Zubeida Vallie. She started photographing in the ‘80s while studying photography at Peninsula Technikon. As a struggle photographer, her images were snapped up by local and international NGOs as well as international news agencies. Her extensive photographic collections indicate an awareness of the role that women played in the anti-apartheid struggle, as well turning points in the political landscape.

Zubeida Vallie was one of the few women, and probably the only woman of colour, who photographed the struggle years on the Cape Flats. Her images capture the violence of the times, but also the ‘other stuff’ beyond the headlines. She is currently a lecturer at CPUT, in the faculty of Informatics and Design.

All images are courtesy of the Market Photo Workshop. For more information, please the website here: The Market Photo Workshop.

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