Lebohang Kganye & Onthatile Modise, Reshot, Grandmother and children, 2011
Could you tell me about visual culture in Africa and how that influences your work?
Africa has a long legacy of visual, oral, performative and narrative methodologies which continue to influence our ideologies, perceptions and communications. And the arts therefore play a major role in defining, retrieving and understanding our histories and future strategies as well as our identities. Art is a part of a thriving contemporary culture throughout the world and far from being a luxury it is a basic human need that needs expression and these forms of various expressions must be questioned and critiqued to understand how we view ourselves and others. Africa - despite its varied arts and artistic heritage - has become stereotyped (especially through the means of photography) and how I constantly aim in my works through my focus on personal narratives to contest such stereotypes. My work constantly hopes to broaden the scope that is defined as ‘African photography’ in that homogenising poverty-porn images of Africa are subverted through subtle, personal narratives of individuals and communities that I develop a relationship with. In the projects I do, I raise questions around identity and the constant renegotiating of who we are in relation to our location and the narratives we create in order to situate ourselves in space and history.
What does Reshot reveal about the photographic archive itself? How did the people of Makweteng respond to the 're-shoot' and what kind of relationships were forged?
Reshot (2011), is a collaborative project with fellow Market Photo Workshop student Onthatile Modise, which explores the notion of the photographic archive from the point of personal histories of people from Makweteng, Potchefstroom. For our photographic interpretation of these personal archives, we were introduced to the people of Ikageng who were ...