Following the French government’s regulations, the Fondation is closed until further notice. We look forward to welcoming you again with The Morozov Collection. Icons of modern art.

Laying of hands, Johannesburg-Soweto Line

  • 1986
  • Santu Mofokeng
  • Black and white photograph
  • 38 x 58 cm

The subject is the train that connects the township of Soweto with Johannesburg, a tiring and dangerous journey which black communities, kept far from their places of work, were subjected to under the laws of apartheid. Mornings and evenings, this journey became a moment of collective grace. Sermons and gospels united residents from different neighborhoods to the sounds of hands slapping walls and feet stomping floors. The photographer co-exists with his subjects in the train car, and the constricted space entails the use of a wide-angle lens and full, saturated composition. Rendered in raw black and white, Mofokeng’s images convey intense spiritual feeling.

© Adagp, Paris, 2017


Santu Mofokeng

Santu Mofokeng began his career as an assistant in a photographic laboratory, he is today a recognized figure in the international photographic landscape.

First a street photographer, in 1985 he joined the Afrapix collective (1982-1991), a group of around forty people, blacks and whites, professionals and amateurs, who oppose the apartheid regime with a " wrestling photography ". Above clichés and reports, it is through his paper series that Mofokeng will develop an art that has become a landmark in South Africa's history.

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