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Images and Democracy: Photography and Shaping Contemporary South African Culture

  • When
  • April 19, 2018
    2:00–8:00 p.m. (EDT)
  • Where
  • Open Society Foundations–New York
    224 West 57th Street
    New York, NY 10019
    United States of America
  • Speakers
  • Lekgetho Makola, Lebohang Kganye, and Sean Jacobs
Lekgetho Makola
Images and Democracy: Photography and Shaping Contemporary South African Culture (April 19, 2018)

The Open Society Documentary Photography Project invites you to a conversation with Lekgetho Makola, head of Market Photo Workshop, and contemporary artist Lebohang Kganye.

The discussion reflects on the work and impact of Market Photo Workshop as a point of departure to explore the role of photography in constructing personal and historical memory, and shaping contemporary culture, in the context of South Africa. It will be moderated by Sean Jacobs, founder and editor of Africa is a Country.

As a school of photography, a gallery, and a project space, the Market Photo Workshop has played a pivotal role in the training of South Africa’s photographers, ensuring that visual literacy reaches neglected and marginalized parts of our society. Since it was founded in 1989 by world-renowned photographer David Goldblatt, the Market Photo Workshop has been an agent of change and representation, informing photographers, visual artists, educators, students, and broader communities of trends, issues, and debates in photography and visual culture. Many Market Photo Workshop alumni—including featured speaker Lebohang Kganye—have changed and transformed the landscape of contemporary South African photography.

Africa is a Country grew out of the blog Leo Africanus as an outlet to challenge the received media wisdoms about Africa from a left perspective, informed by experiences of resistance movements to Apartheid. Featuring online commentary, original writing, media criticism, videos, audio, and photography, Africa is a Country is one of the leading intellectual voices in the African online media sphere.


  • Lekgetho Makola


    Lekgetho Makola is head of the Market Photo Workshop.

  • Lebohang Kganye


    Lebohang Kganye is a contemporary artist whose photography often incorporates sculpture and performance.

  • Sean Jacobs


    Sean Jacobs is editor and founder of Africa is a Country and is associate professor of international affairs at The New School.

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