Photography

Goldblatt, David (1930)

Under colonial rule, South Africa was already a highly segregated and unequal society, but the radicalized separation of people was intensified after the election of the National Party in 1948. The Population Registration Act of 1950 defined individuals as ‘white’, ‘black’ or ‘colored’ and David Goldblatt decided to document the social structures of life during the apartheid. The photographer managed to provoke as much sympathy and respect for the colored individuals struggling that for the Afrikaners attached to their land, as his discourse intended more to blame the political system that had led to these injustices. In 1975, while shooting portraits, he became fascinated by how people composed themselves before a camera: ‘what became apparent to me as I worked was that, in our body language, in our clothing, in our decoration, we often declared our values.’ He thus decided to produce a series focusing on details of people’s bodies. At other times, these fragments were habitations or institutions destined to be knocked down and that stood for moving witnesses of the authorities’ perverted strategy.
 

David Goldblatt, Child Minder, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Child Minder, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Couple at The Wilds, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Couple at The Wilds, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Couple on a Sunday afternoon, Zoo Lake, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Couple on a Sunday afternoon, Zoo Lake, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Family at Lunch, 1962
David Goldblatt, Family at Lunch, 1962
David Goldblatt, Girl with Purse, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Girl with Purse, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Handwork for Sale, Marine Parade, Durban, August 2, 1983
David Goldblatt, Handwork for Sale, Marine Parade, Durban, August 2, 1983
David Goldblatt, In Ozzie Docrat's home before its destruction under the Group Areas Act, Fietas, 1977
David Goldblatt, In Ozzie Docrat's home before its destruction under the Group Areas Act, Fietas, 1977
David Goldblatt, Incomplete houses, part of a stalled municipal development of 1,000 houses, Lady Grey, Eastern Cape, 2006
David Goldblatt, Incomplete houses, part of a stalled municipal development of 1,000 houses, Lady Grey, Eastern Cape, 2006
David Goldblatt, Johannesburg from the Southwest, 2003
David Goldblatt, Johannesburg from the Southwest, 2003
David Goldblatt, Listening to the cricket commentary on a Saturday afternoon, before the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act, 1977
David Goldblatt, Listening to the cricket commentary on a Saturday afternoon, before the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act, 1977
David Goldblatt, Man sleeping, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, August 1975
David Goldblatt, Man sleeping, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, August 1975
David Goldblatt, Mofolo South, Soweto, South Africa, September 1972
David Goldblatt, Mofolo South, Soweto, South Africa, September 1972
David Goldblatt, The Mill, Pomfret Asbestos Mine, Pomfret, North-West Province, 2002
David Goldblatt, The Mill, Pomfret Asbestos Mine, Pomfret, North-West Province, 2002
David Goldblatt, Woman at Home, Coffee Bay, Transkei, 1975
David Goldblatt, Woman at Home, Coffee Bay, Transkei, 1975
David Goldblatt, Woman Sleeping, Zoo Lake, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Woman Sleeping, Zoo Lake, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Woman Sun-bathing, Fellside, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Woman Sun-bathing, Fellside, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Woman with Pierced Ear, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 1975
David Goldblatt, Woman with Pierced Ear, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, 1975
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