Two locations, two photographers, working together to exchange experiences and perspectives, sharing the process of making to create a single project.
Photographers, Kalpesh Lathigra (UK) and Thabiso Sekgala (SA), have used the framework of collaboration to develop work at the same time in two cities. Together, they have chosen to explore communities and the representation, exploring understandings of belonging, histories, silence, memory and loss.
Lathigra/Sekgala chose to begin their project in connection with Indian communities in two primary locations Marabastad and Laudium, South Africa and in Brighton, UK. Marabastad was a culturally and racially diverse community before forced relocation in the late 1940’s. Close by, Laudium, on the outskirts of Pretoria was proclaimed an Indian Township in 1961 under the Group Areas Act. One of Brighton’s largest ethnic minority groups is of Indian descent, a community with an interesting historical back story relating to the British Indian Army, whose soldiers fought in WW1 and were temporarily hospitalised in the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, a building inextricably linked with Brighton’s identity. Both photographers are interested in the role of photography in representing communities, creating narratives and raising questions around truth and fiction, notions of connection and disconnection.
Lathigra/Sekgala’s collaborative project combines contemporary images with co-authored captions to create pertinent associations between people, time and place. These include retrieved stories and notes from archives.
Co-commissioned by the Market Photo Workshop, Photoworks, The Space for Brighton Photo Biennial 2014 and the Joburg Photo Umbrella, Johannesburg 2014. The project is commissioned by the British Council Connect ZA as part of of SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, which is partnership between the Department of Arts & Culture, South Africa and the British Council.
Lathigra/Sekgala have produced a new digital artwork to complement and extend the project. Team 2 Games is the Digital Creative Producer for the digital iteration of A Return to Elsewhere. More details about the digital artwork will be made available at the launch of the exhibition.
Where: Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg
When: 8 – 19 November
Opening: 8 November, 12noon
Kalpesh Lathigra was born in London in 1971 and studied photography at the London College of Printing. After leaving the course in 1994, he worked at The Independent as a staff photographer before freelancing for national newspapers for 6 years. In 2000 Lathigra made the decision to start working on long term personal projects alongside international magazine and commercial assignments, including documentary and portraiture. He received the W. Eugene Smith Fellowship and Churchill Fellowship for his project documenting the lives of widows in India. Since 2000, Lathigra’s work has received numerous prizes. His first book, Lost In The Wilderness, will be published in 2014.
Thabiso Sekgala (21 Jul 1981 – 16 Oct 2014). Sekgala studied at the Market Photo Workshop in 2007 to 2008 and was awarded the Tierney Fellowship at the Market Photo Workshop in 2010. Sekgala has had solo exhibitions in Johannesburg, Berlin and Brussels and has shown in group shows internationally. In 2013 he had residencies in both the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and at HIWAR/Durant Al Funun, Jordan. His work focuses on South African communities facing the long shadow of apartheid and explores themes of abandonment and memory.
Celia Davies is a curator, editor and producer. She devises the strategic and artistic direction of Photoworks. Celia was previously Head of Exhibitions at the De La Warr Pavilion from 2002-2009. She has devised numerous contemporary solo and group exhibitions and major commissions of new work, profiling both international and UK based artists. She is co-editor of Photoworks Annual, visual art advisor for HOUSE festival and Chair of Blast Theory.
John Fleetwood is the Head of the Market Photo Workshop and independent curator, living and working in Johannesburg, South Africa. Fleetwood most recently was the curator of Photoquai 2013: Africa, Paris, 2013 and co-curator for Transition – a collaboration between South African and French photographers, 2013. As the Head of the Market Photo Workshop, a photography school, gallery and project space in Johannesburg, he spearheads the educational and artistic frameworks of the school and gallery.