Underexposed

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Anne Fischer
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
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
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
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
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.

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