Joburg’s Story in Pictures and Sound

Joe and I were downtown again last night, at the Bensusan Museum of Photography. The Bensusan is inside Museum Africa, a cavernous building in Newtown that used to be part of a giant city market.

The entrance to Museum Africa, seen from the Bensusan Museum on the upper level.

I didn’t have time to explore much of the Bensusan, which houses an impressive collection of rare photographic equipment and prints, or the rest of Museum Africa. I’ll have to go back soon for another post. Last night we were there for the opening of an exhibition by our friend Eva-Lotta Jansson called “My (Art) Burg.”

Eva-Lotta is a photojournalist with a passion for Joburg and the creativity that seems to breed in every corner of this crazy city. She spent the last several months talking to some of the most influential people in the Johannesburg artistic community, and taking photographs of them in places around the city that are meaningful to them. The photographs are paired with audio recordings of the artists talking about how Joburg made them who they are.

An exhibition like this is best experienced rather than described. But Joe and I took a few shots of the evening that I want to share.

The exhibition. (Photo courtesy of Joe.)

Looking and listening.

A guest at the opening looks at a photo of Nobel-prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer. Gordimer is standing in the Market Theater, the first integrated theater in Joburg.

I was listening to a recording of world-renowned photographer David Goldblatt. His account of an Indian family being forcibly removed from their home and shop under apartheid is chilling, as is Eva-Lotta’s photo of Goldblatt standing beneath the remains of the home. (Photo courtesy of Joe.)

Driving across Nelson Mandela Bridge on our way home from the exhibition. This was my first time riding over it at night and I’d never seen the trippy light show before.

If you live in Joburg, come check out My (Art) Burg through April 17.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Tilly Bud February 25, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Sometimes it’s like you are describing another city altogether; so much has changed in fourteen years.

    The only bit I recognised was The Market Theatre. Been there a few times, and to the flea market outside.

    Hope the exhibition goes well.

    • Reply 2summers February 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      I haven’t even been to Market Theatre yet — need to go!

      • Reply Tilly Bud February 25, 2011 at 10:04 pm

        Definitely! It took a stand against Apartheid when so many theatres wouldn’t. It deserves your admiration 🙂

  • Reply eremophila February 26, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Very interesting. For a country that’s experienced many tragic moments, things seem to be really looking up!

  • Reply eremophila February 26, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Very interesting. For a country that’s experienced many tragic moments, things seem to be really looking up!

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