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Ranjith Kally and I

  Growing up in the Sixties, I first began to know of Ranjith Kally through his work in The Post, a Durban newspaper, as well as in Drum magazine. Back then, he was among a group of Durban-based news photographers who became local household names: people like GR Naidoo, Moosa Badsha, Mickey Padayachee, Gopal Narainsamy, [...]

Here we go again…

  By James Oatway “Here we go again.” That dreaded phrase… It’s Monday night and I’m in Jeppestown. I’m standing in a street surrounded by filth, staring at “Wolhuter Native Men’s Hostel”. I’m watching police fire rubber bullets at the residents. The complex is better known as “Jeppe Hostel”. The word “Native” has been painted over but [...]

Photographing at the International Library of African Music

  n July 2015, I visited the International Library of African Music, or ILAM, in Grahamstown, South Africa for the first time. I had approached Diane Thram, ILAM’s director, in 2013 about a proposal to photograph their 78 rpm record collection. I was looking to expand on a project to visually document every South African [...]

New Year’s Old Racists

  The beach has always revealed South Africa in its most naked state. During apartheid, under “Whites Only” signs, it pettily, but overtly, dictated first and second-class citizenry: Where natural beauty and access to calm waters abounded, Blacks were not allowed. In contemporary South Africa, it is used by racists like Penny Sparrow and her [...]