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Photography by Andile Buka.

5 South African Photo Books to Check Out

Here are some South African photo books on apartheid, jazz and Black life to familiarise yourself with.

While image-making, along with image archiving, have taken different forms over the years — advancing in tandem with photography's multiple technological advancements particularly in recent times — the idea of a compilation of images is one that is hard not to romanticise.

Photo books are cool. They look dope on the coffee table, they inspire curiosity, and they are reliable records of memory. They also make for great collector's items; and this is why we wiped the flimsy dust setting on some of our favourite photo books to get you started — should you be interested in finding and/or adding more.

This is but a cursory list of photo books from my own collection, directed mainly at the curious. For a thorough rundown of the history of photobooks in South Africa, have a look at the SAHO website's

Timeline of South African Photographic Books and Exhibitions

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Toka Hlongwane’s Photo Series ‘Impilo ka Darkie’ Aims to Give an Insight Into Black South Africans’ Experiences

With his latest photo series, 'Impilo ka Darkie', South African photographer Toka Hlongwane offers an imperfect but compelling insight into the lives of the people he has encountered through his travels.