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South African Photographer Santu Mofokeng's 'Metaphorical Biography' On Display In NYC

The Walther Collection in NYC presents a solo exhibition of work by South African photographer Santu Mofokeng (January 29 to May 23, 2015).

Santu Mofokeng: A Metaphorical Biography is a forthcoming solo exhibition presented by the Walther Collection in NYC spanning three decades of Santu Mofokeng's career. The show forms part of the non-profit foundation's two-year exploration of photo and video narratives from contemporary African artists and will feature images from the award-winning South African artist's photographic essays that explore landscape, community and social identity in South Africa during and after apartheid.


Mofokeng's early series were conceived while he was a member of Afrapix, the influential anti-apartheid documentary photography collective that championed the "resistance arts" movement and called for photographers to channel their work into activism. With his 1986 project, Train ChurchMofokeng captured the devotional worship and laying of hands that occurred in makeshift religious services put on during his daily commute between Soweto and Johannesburg. A later series, Chasing Shadows (1996-2006), delved deeper into the spiritual lives of black South Africans as they held faith ceremonies at the sacred Motouleng Caves.

In addition to documenting the transformation of public spaces, Mofokeng's work also chronicled the interpersonal. Townships (1985-87) and Rumours: The Bloemhoef Portfolio (1988-1994) are two series featured in the show that portray intimate and carefree interactions among members of black township communities in order to counter the widespread images of brutality and oppression that dominated the global media's characterization of South Africa at the height of apartheid.

Born in 1956 in Soweto, Mofokeng began his career as a freelance photojournalist and darkroom printer, and it was during this period that he decided to document the minutiae of his everyday life in order to form a "metaphorical biography." His blurred black and white images transcend a purely visual appreciation in order to evoke a more spiritual atmosphere that embodies seriti (a northern Sotho word that connotes aura, presence, confidence, power, spirit, essence, status and/or wellbeing). Mofokeng was awarded the Ernest Cole Scholarship in 1991 to study at New York's International Center for Photography. His work has been featured in group shows and retrospectives around the world.

'Santu Mofokeng: A Metaphorical Biography' will run from January 29th to May 23rd at the Walther Collection Project Space (526 West 26th Street, Suite 718) in New York City.

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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