Seedtime: A Retrospective of Omar Badsha at the DAG

12189642_913437758709962_7389163865917256102_n

Seedtime: A Retrospective of Omar Badsha can be viewed at the Durban Art Gallery. Spanning a period of almost 50 years, starting in the 1960s the exhibition includes Badsha’s early prints and drawings as well as his now celebrated photographic essays.

Seedtime gives us an opportunity to assess the legacy of one of South Africa’s most important documentary photographers and cultural activists, who came of age in the time of Sharpeville and was a leading activists in the subsequent decades of repression and resistance.

Despite critical acclaim for his drawing and sculpture, Badsha chose politics over his artistic career. In the wake of the 1973 Durban workers strike he became a full time trade union organiser; becoming the first secretary of the Chemical Workers Industrial Union. He was also active in the revival of the Natal Indian Congress.

In the late 1970s Badsha began taking photographs as part of his work as a trade union activist. This eventually led to him taking up photography, focusing on a number of long term photographic essays that make up the major part of this exhibition.

Badsha’s world of the everyday in the Black ghettos of Durban and his photographs taken in his later travels, capture the intimacy, rituals, spaces and layered narratives of the life of the marginalised.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s