Riding Staff, Johannesburg-Soweto Line (n°13), 1986

by

Santu Mofokeng

Santu Mofokeng. Riding Staff, Johannesburg-Soweto Line (n° 13). 1986

“Train Church” series. Black and white photograph. 58 x 38 cm

Fondation Louis Vuitton Collection, Paris

© Santu Mofokeng © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

Santu Mofokeng

“Train Church” series, 1986. Black and white photograph. 58 x 38 cm

Fondation Louis Vuitton Collection, Paris

© Santu Mofokeng © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

Mofokeng’s series are intended to be presented in book or other printed formats. Completed over the course of a month in 1986, "Train Church" was his first publication and became legendary.

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.

Share this Page

In the Same Exhibition

The Blessing, Johannesburg-Soweto Line ,1986

Hands in Workship, Johannesburg-Soweto Line, 1986