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South African Photographs: David Goldblatt

May 2, 2010 - September 19, 2010

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Galleries Early Work & Mines | Afrikaners | Bantustans | Boksburg | Structures | Johannesburg


This essay grew out of many and often contradictory experiences and conflicted feelings regarding Afrikaners. There were memories of clashes with anti-Semitic Afrikaner youngsters in childhood; there was warmth, humour, uprightness, and generosity of spirit, often inextricably entangled with a visceral racism among customers I served in my father’s shop; there was my initial dislike of the Afrikaans language as a compulsory school subject and then an increasing enjoyment of its richness as I learnt to speak with those customers; there was the life-denying miasma of Afrikaner Nationalism and the penetration of its spawn, the apparatus of apartheid, into every aspect of existence here; and there was the inspiration of Afrikaners, many of them “ordinary people,” who stood against the might of Church, Party, and State. Some Afrikaners Photographed was published in 1975. Some Afrikaners Revisited was published in 2006.