Social documentary photography


Brick foundry, East Rand, 1981
From the late 1970s I was engaged in documenting the society in which I lived. I worked largely for nongovernmental organisations, providing photographs and stories for their publications and audio visual media projects. I was also a founder member of the Afrapix collective.


In this period I saw photography as 'cultural work' and most of my photographs appeared in the anti-apartheid exhibitions and publications of the day.

In the mid-1980s I began to work more commercially, and in the early 1990s moved into documentary film as a writer, researcher and director, shooting stills as I went.


During the late 1980s I began working in a freer way, combining images and photographs that were published as audiovisual programmes and in books. Reportage was also published in newspapers and magazines. Crying on the hard shoulder, an essay with self-portraits, was awarded a Mondi Award in 2000. More...

Personal projects

While much of my photography documented lives under apartheid, I also worked on more personal projects that allowed me to explore more a more nuanced view of life in South Africa. Another day in the suburbs was an extended essay with interviews (which remain unpublished), charting white Johannesburg's response to the shifts that were taking place in the late 1980s. The photographs, which were taken between 1986 and 1993, were exhibited with portfolios of five other photographers in the South African National Gallery in 1993.More...

working_women_pluto001Working Women, 1985

Working Women documents the daily lives of ordinary working class women in South Africa. From the low-paid forestry worker to the big city sex worker, women tell their tales of survival, triumph and despair. Despite the complex web of legislation and gender discrimination, in the early 1980s black women were beginning to exert their economic muscle to form a growing and important sector of the workforce. The book was written for the women's movement in the trade unions, but was also used extensively by literacy workers and community organisers. More...

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