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Riding Staff, Johannesburg-Soweto Line (n°11)

  • 1986
  • Santu Mofokeng
  • Photographie noir & blanc
  • 38 x 58 cm

Le sujet en est le train qui relie le township de Soweto à Johannesburg, trajet épuisant et dangereux auquel sont soumises les populations noires tenues loin de leur lieu de travail par les lois de l’apartheid. Matin et soir, ce voyage se transforme en un instant de grâce collective. Prêches et gospels réunissent des habitants de différents quartiers au son des mains frappées sur les parois et des pieds qui claquent sur le sol. Le photographe cohabite avec ses sujets dans le wagon et l’exiguïté de l’espace implique l’utilisation du grand-angle et un cadrage plein, saturé. Rendues dans un noir et blanc brut, les images de Mofokeng communiquent un élan spirituel intense.

© Adagp, Paris, 2017

Accrochages

Santu Mofokeng

Santu Mofokeng commence sa carrière comme assistant dans un laboratoire photographique, il est aujourd'hui une figure reconnue dans le paysage photographique international.

D’abord photographe de rue, il rejoint en 1985 le collectif Afrapix (1982-1991), un groupe d’une quarantaine de personnes, Noirs et Blancs, professionnels et amateurs, qui s’opposent au régime de l’apartheid par une « photographie de lutte  ». Davantage que par le cliché ou le reportage, c'est par des séries, destinées à des publications papiers, que Mofokeng va développer une œuvre devenue un repère dans l'histoire de l'Afrique du Sud.

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