AIDS, Art and Africa

To mark World Aids Day (1 December), a Pasadena gallery is hosting a photography exhibition put together by Art Aids Art


The exhibition, South Africa: A Nation in Transformation, shows works by photographer Jürgen Schadeberg who has photographed the most significant faces and places in the last 60 years of South African history. You don’t need to be South African to be familiar with the iconic image of Nelson Mandela looking through the prison bars of his Robben Island cell… that’s Schadeberg.

Slideshow of selected photos

Reading about this exhibition took me to the Schadeberg catalog which includes photos from South Africa’s vibrant “jazz age” (Sophiatown in the early 50s), pictures of songstress Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa), Nelson Mandela as a young lawyer in 50s Johannesburg, scenes from the apartheid struggles and other iconic faces and moments in South Africa. Life through his lens is vibrant; and as with any great photojournalist, the images tell the story – intriguing, moving, funny. 

During the 50s, Schadeberg was Chief Photographer and Art Editor at Drum magazine, a Johannesburg-based publication which witnessed and documented the country’s journey (in fact right now it’s celebrating 60 years in publishing!)

Schadeberg’s website has a large selection of photos; I particularly like The 50’s in Black and White. Portraits and people were generally shot with a Leica.