Apartheid in South Africa

Margaret Bourke-White, [Man standing next to statue with chalked protest message outside city hall, Johannesburg], 1950 (1711.2005)

Margaret Bourke-White, [Carpenter Phillip Mbhele wearing “We don’t want passes” tag speaking against the Afrikaner’s pass system that requires all native South Africans to carry one or more passes], 1950 (1715.2005)

Dan Weiner, [Shanty in Sophiatown, South Africa], 1954 (180.1974)

Dan Weiner, [Playing the national Afrikaner game of jukskei, Pretoria, South Africa], 1954 (1011.1974)

Peter Magubane, Sharpeville Shooting, South Africa, March 21, 1960 (2010.19.2)

Peter Magubane, Soweto Riots, South Africa, June 16, 1976 (2010.19.1)

Opening tomorrow at ICP, Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life examines the legacy of the apartheid system and how it penetrated even the most mundane aspects of social existence in South Africa, from housing, public amenities, and transportation to education, tourism, religion, and businesses. Several photographic strategies, from documentary to reportage, social documentary to the photo essay, were each adopted to examine the effects and after-effects of apartheid’s political, social, economic, and cultural legacy. Curated by Okwui Enwezor with Rory Bester, the exhibition of over 500 objects (including the ones above drawn from the ICP Photography Collection) proposes a complex understanding of photography and the aesthetic power of the documentary form.

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