Urban Africa Photography Mentorship

The Market Theatre Foundation

A photographic exploration of urban and public life in Africa.

In, relating to, or characteristic of: a photographic exploration of urban and public life in Africa by the Market Photo Workshop in partnership with the Centre on African Public Spaces and the University of Johannesburg.

Wednesday 24 July 2024, 11:00 – 13:00
Joubert Park in Johannesburg Central, Gauteng.
Interactive activations by participating photographers from 11:00 – 13:00.

In, relating to, or characteristic of: a photographic exploration of urban and public life in Africa.

Curated by:
Andrew Tshabangu
Seth Kriger

In, relating to, or characteristic of…brings together a set of photographers and cultural practitioners from across the continent who are highlighting the expansive landscape of urban and public life in Africa. These photographs lean towards new forms of social life and possibilities questioning our perceptions of ‘the urban’ and rather, eluding towards a new situated imaginary for us here on the continent. Although not all is perfect as themes of neglect, colonial hangovers, and social injustice plague some of these images, all is not lost. Instead, these photographs highlight an innate spirit held within our urban landscape. Bringing in photographic voices from across Africa, this exhibition re-introduces what we can indeed refer to as ‘urban’, and what is in, relating to, or characteristic of our understandings in being African.

The photographers practice in South Africa, Uganda, Sudan, Egypt, Mozambique, Mali, Ghana and Nigeria.

Exhibiting photographers:

Abdullahi Tanimu Abubakar
Jim Joel Nyakaana
Dahlia Maubane
Ezona Njokweni
John Moussa Kalapo
`Sahl Abdelrahman
Seth Kriger
Silasse Salomone
Israa Alrrayah
Oluwayemisi Onadipe

About the “URBAN SPACES AND PUBLIC LIFE” photography mentorship
The Market Photo Workshop in partnership with the Centre on African Public Spaces and the University of Johannesburg extended an invitation to photographers from across the African continent to submit their work in response to a special and juried call around African public spaces. Photographers with a keen interest in public spaces and photography were invited to submit a selection of works that respond to public spaces in communities across Africa. Ten successful applicants took part in a three-month photography mentorship through the Market Photo Workshop.

The project seeks to promote new photography works of social responsibility, activism and ethical investigation by African photographers. It intends to initiate a discussion that highlights the complexity of perceptions of place, space and belonging particularly from an African perspective. There are many different questions and positions about public spaces and diverging views which often remain hidden. In South Africa, issues of space are entangled with its racial and apartheid history and in Africa broadly with legacies of colonisation, conjectures of ownership, belonging and identity. These legacies embedded in spaces continue to reproduce an oppressed and unequal society in both urban and rural contexts.

The Centre on African Public Spaces through The Market Photo Workshop seeks to use photography to unpack and engage dynamics embedded in these spaces to develop a richer understanding of African public spaces. This project presented an opportunity for photographers and those with a keen interest in public spaces to reflect on their significance for community building, their historical value as well directly engaging in the process of developing an African understanding and definition of what makes a public space.

About the Centre on African Public Spaces
The Centre on African Public Spaces (CAPS) is a home, resource hub and knowledge-sharing network dedicated to growing expertise related to African public space. CAPS seeks to ensure access to home-grown solutions for designing, building, activating and sustaining safe, inclusive, accessible multifunctional public spaces across the African continent. It also looks to interrogate and disseminate quality good practices, research and innovative approaches with a view to influence African cities to recognize the value and importance of public spaces. The centre was founded by the City of Johannesburg in collaboration with the UN-Habitat Global Public Space Programme and GIZ Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme.

About Market Photo Workshop
The Market Photo Workshop is a Johannesburg-based school of photography, gallery and resource center for practicing photographers. Since its establishment in 1989, the school has played an integral role in the training and growth of photographers from South Africa and further afield, while promoting photography through exhibitions, public debates and collaborative projects, especially within marginalized communities. The Market Photo Workshop is a division of The Market Theatre Foundation. Market Photo Workshop is the recipient of The Principal Prince Claus Award 2018.

For more information contact:
Bekie Ntini
011 834 1444
Public Programmes Manager

Ayanda Roji
Enviromental Education and Research
City of Johannesburg Parks and Zoo

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Sannah Mabokela
011 832 1641
The Market Theatre Foundation