Academic Session 22: Loughborough 2017

43rd Annual Conference and Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th – 8th April 2017

Present Tense: South Africa’s Uneasy Past in Contemporary Photographic Practice


Jean Brundrit, University of Cape Town,
Michael Godby, University of Cape Town
Svea Josephy, University of Cape Town

Following two decades of democracy in South Africa, there are questions about how the past keeps moving into the present, and persists to be part of the future. These lingering pasts and desired futures have created spaces for new identities and new ways of seeing

Fleetwood, Josephy & Ractliffe, 2015

A number of South African photographic artists are concerned to critically engage with history – re-telling, re-assessing and looking back – perhaps as a way of reconciling themselves with the trauma of the past, or to find a place in an uncertain present. In this session, we wish to explore the different kinds of entanglement of past and present in the work of selected South African photographers.

Papers in this panel investigate themes in contemporary South African photography such as the family album, interventions in the archive, performative documentary and re-imagining South African history.

Click here to download a .pdf of this session's paper abstracts 

Tebogo George Mahashe (University of Cape Town –Archive and Public Culture Initiative (APC)) An Invitation to Dream, the Camera Obscura and its Restoration of the Body as an Integrated Sensor within the Practice of Seeing

Michael Godby (University of Cape Town) The Past and the Present in Contemporary South African Photography: Two case studies

Svea Josephy (Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town) Cut and Paste: Performing the family album in the work of Lebohang Kganye

Nomusa Makhubu (University of Cape Town) ‘Performative Photography’ - Art Photography and Performance in Post-Reconciliation South Africa

Jean Brundrit (University of Cape Town) Touching lives: LGBTIQ photographic projects in South Africa