Market Photo Workshop Gallery hosts exhibition of struggle-era photographers

evite_martyrs_fa-02RUNNING until October 23 at the Market Photo Workshop Gallery in Johannesburg, is Martyrs, Saints, and Sell-Outs, a group exhibition featuring anti-apartheid photographers Adil Bradlow, Benny Gool, and Zubeida Vallie.

The exhibition is being hosted by the Market Photo Workshop, in partnership with the Centre for Curating the Archive, at the University of Cape Town.

It is the first time that the photographs of Adil Bradlow, Benny Gool and Zubeida Vallie have been brought together. From the early 1980s, these then-young photographers and friends were to be found with their cameras documenting contemporary South Africa, dodging security police, taking part in protests and being detained on several occasions.

Their impressive collections show us a vivid narrative of violence, loss and injury, the reverberations of which are subdued in the rhetoric of the post-apartheid landscape.

AdiI Bradlow began working as a journalist in South Africa in the 1980s as a photographer covering the anti-apartheid struggle for the international news agency Associated Press.

After 13 years as a photographer, he switched to television and began working for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. He has worked for Cable News Network’s London Bureau, CBS News and television news show 60 Minutes.

As a freelancer based out of Johannesburg, he works for a variety of news companies including the British Broadcasting Corporation, Al Jazeera, Sky News and German public-service television broadcaster, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, both in South Africa and beyond.

Between 2011 and 2012, Bradlow was the Director of Photography on a National Geographic TV series called Battleground Afghanistan, a five part series that followed the exploits of a platoon of US Marines in the southern province of Helmand.

Through his career he has covered the war on terror worldview and has worked in hostile environments in Africa, Eastern Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East.

Bradlow is the co-recipient of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award for 2009.

Benny Gool is an anti-apartheid activist whose archive contains thousands of photographs documenting the liberation struggle, freedom and democracy. Throughout his career he has documented the injustices of a divided nation.

He went on to capture the inexorable and stirring transition to democracy, the tumultuous
truth and reconciliation process, and South Africa’s “homecoming” as a respected member of the global community.

Gool has been a professional photographer/camera operator for about 20 years, starting at the alternative newspaper Grassroots. He then worked at the Cape Times, going on to become the chief photographer for the paper.

His photographs have been published across the world, and have garnered national awards including the Fuji Press Photographer of the Year in 1996, and a commendation for the
Ruth First Award for Courageous Journalism in 1997.

He is currently working as a freelance cameraman/director.

Zubeida Vallie started photographing in the ‘80s while studying photography at Peninsula Technikon. As a struggle photographer, her images were snapped up by local and international NGOs as well as international news agencies.

Her extensive photographic collections indicate an awareness of the role that women played in the anti -apartheid struggle as well turning points in the political landscape.
One of the few women, and probably the only woman of colour, who photographed the struggle years on the Cape Flats, Vallie’s images capture the violence of the times, but also the ‘other stuff’ beyond the headlines.

She is currently a lecturer at CPUT, in the faculty of Informatics and Design.

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