Initiated and curated by Paul Weinberg, Then & Now is a major project featuring the work of eight South African photographers whose careers have straddled South Africa’s transition to democracy.
The other contributors are David Goldblatt, George Hallett, Eric Miller, Cedric Nunn, Guy Tillim, Graeme Williams, and Gisèle Wulfsohn. Almost all of them were members of Afrapix, the collective photo agency that played a central role in documenting the political conflict in South Africa the 1980s and early 1990s.
The collection has been exhibited in all the major South African centres, and has travelled in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Besides the exhibition, the project comprises a video documentary featuring interviews with the contributors, and a book featuring the entire collection of photographs, a critical essay, and extracts from the interviews.
It is managed by the Centre for Curating the Archive in the Michaelis School of Fine Art of the University of Cape Town, and funded by the Conference, Workshop and Cultural Initiative (CWCI) Fund, a partnership programme between South Africa and the European Union; and the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University in the United States.
“In essence, Then & Now is a dialogue with photographers who have photographed and continue to photograph in two distinct periods in our history: during and after apartheid. The participating photographers were asked to select ten images taken before and after apartheid, which they felt exemplified their work during in those very different periods.”
“They were also interviewed about their work, and their approach to photography, during those periods. The various narratives are a product of that process of interaction, and develop on several levels: photographically, intellectually and personally.”
“This anthology is also a reunion of a community of photographers who have known each other for many years, and were all associated with a particular photographic movement in the turbulent 1980s and early 1990s. In a way, Then & Now is a journey shared by all of us who have recorded, observed and lived through those extraordinary times.”