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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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In Photos: Back To The City Over The Years

These images by photographer Tseliso Monaheng capture special moments from the South African hip-hop and street culture festival Back To The City, which would be taking place today on Freedom Day, were it not for the global pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an undeniable effect on a significant portion of the world's population. When surveying creative industries, it's live music in particular that has been hardest hit.

Back To The City, the Mecca of South African hip-hop and street culture, has been taking place annually on April 27, since its inception in 2007. The date is a public holiday, Freedom Day which commemorates the first democratic elections of 1994 which led to the ANC taking on power and Nelson Mandela inaugurated as the country's first Black president.

Read: In Photos: Back To The City 2019

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In Photos: ‘Indaba Is’ Recording Sessions

These images take you inside the recording sessions for 'Indaba Is', a compilation of great compositions from South Africa's creative improvisational music scene, released by London-based Brownswood Recordings.

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South Africa-based writer and photographer Tseliso Monaheng lived in The Maboneng Precinct for seven years, and documented its transformation from a creative hub to its current state where hardly any art galleries remain and the food culture has been decimated.

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