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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.

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Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

How You Can Help Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protests

We round up some ways you can support the movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

Widespread protests against Nigeria's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are becoming more of a revolution. The movement is an outcry from youths demanding a general reform of the country, majorly characterized by poor governance, with a focus on the harassment and assaults committed by SARS. The movement has been raging through the city of Lagos for the past three weeks, as protesters home and abroad have taken to the streets in masses to express their keen dissatisfaction.

Hashtags like #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality, and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria have brandished across all social media platforms to amplify the voices of the youth people fighting back. These hashtags have, in turn, gained traction with the help of celebrities like singers Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and many others. Nigerian stars, Falz, Runtown, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and many more also joined in the movement, as many of them took to the streets with placards.

To date, the peacefully protesting Nigerians' needs have not been met. With said needs not being satisfied as they demand justice for lives lost due to the brutal and corrupt practices of police officers.

We have rounded up some ways you can support this movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

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