‘Free From My Happiness’ is an exhibition showcasing the work of three young South African photographers, Sibusiso Bheka, Tshepiso Mazibuko and Lindokuhle Sobekwa. It was first shown at the Ghent International Photography Festival, in Belgium in June last year. Proponents of the “Of Soul and Joy” project, funded and created by the Rubis Mécénat Cultural Fund that aims to train and assist aspiring photographers with skills and opportunities, all three artists grew up inThokoza, a township to the south of Johannesburg.
Although Thokoza means ‘happiness’ in isiZulu, the show centres around three different bodies of work, that use photography to tell more gritty stories of everyday life in this township. Lindokhule Sobewkwa’s series, Nyaope. Everything You Give Me My Boss, Will Do is an exploration of the use of the drug Nyaope, with sensitive and insightful portraits of its users. Sibusiso Bheka explores the streets of Thokoza after dark in ‘ At Night, They Walk With Me’ – looking at the link between light and safety and the space as one of socialization and play in spite of the ever-present dangers. Motivated by her strong inclination towards journalism, Tshepiso Mazibuko’s series Encounters has a photo journalistic quality to it. Capturing intimate portraits of people in her community and their domestic spaces, Mazibuko provides snapshots into the lived reality of those around her.
Foundation room, photographic exhibition 15 May 2016 – 14 Aug 2016.
Did you know? Photographers seldom had their work collected by art museums until the late 20th century. JAG started collecting photographs in the late 1970s as part of the print collection.