Zwelethu Mthethwa – Apartheid and Lasting Segregation

In 1994, following a series of negotiations dismantling the policy of apartheid in South Africa, all citizens of South Africa voted in the nation’s first general election held absent of racial limitations. The historic vote placed the African National Congress in power and began a powerful change in the exposure of South Africa to the rest of the world. Following the end of apartheid, the culture and art of ethnic Africans was no longer subject to the censorship of the ruling parties. Photography, especially that displaying the social and economic disparity between the classes, was brought to wide-spread, world attention.

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa of Durban has chronicled the history and current state of his country in several series of large-format photographs which have made their tour of galleries worldwide in ongoing conversation of the cultural identities of the disenfranchised and the relationship of South Africa with the global community.

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

The Aperture Foundation and its publishing arm have recently chosen to feature Mthethwa in a comprehensive monograph of the artist’s work to date. Scheduled to be released on 31 March 2010, Zwelethu Mthethwa takes the viewer across the landscapes and fields worked by rural denizens and into the homes and places of worship of native South Africans in an attempt to paint an accurate portrait of South African life to balance world perspectives on progress in the nation and afro-pessimism.

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Zwelethu Mthethwa - Untitled

Pictures and information courtesy of African Colours, Aperture, and Art Slope

Social survey, or simply snapshots? Select below.

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