Apartheid Brought Back To Life.

Apartheid was brought back to life in the form of the ICP exhibit, Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life. But the big question was if it ever died.

Apartheid is the legislated racial segregation of blacks. It used to be specifically referring to the actions taken in South Africa but it can be argued that this behavior is not simply limited to the region of South Africa.

Berenice Abbot would be happy with this exhibit. Each and every picture is a slap in the face. Practically shoving painful and desperate reality down your throat. There is a message in each picture, another part of the exhibit that she would be happy with. What is this message? Well, clearly a theme is that Apartheid is absolutely abominable and should be abolished.

However the concept of Apartheid was so strong that in everything from movies to simple newspapers. It, unfortunately, was becoming the essence of society at that point in history. Something powerful enough to be injected into all aspects of society is not easily forgotten, though. Even after the films stopped being produced and the racist newspapers stopped being printed, there was still a presence of apartheid. At first it was de jure apartheid. Laws were passed segregating the dark skinned from the white skinned. Just as the Jim Crow laws here in America were legally binding measures taken by whites.

After many of the laws were repealed, it became de facto apartheid. A photo by Peter Magubane showed the ‘notorious green car: police drove around Soweto taking potshots at innocent passerby. Imagine that, being shot by your own police. The people who are put there to protect you. Another photo shows Antoinette Sithole and Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying Hector Pieterson at a peaceful student demonstration.

By Sam Nzima

He had been shot by the police as well.

Then there is another photo by Peter Magubane which everyone seems to connect with. It is of 5,000+ people at a graveyard after the Sharpeville Massacre. The massacre was because of a peaceful protest. The protestors apparently outnumbered the amount of police present. So they opened fire, killing almost 7o people.

By Peter Magubane

The whole exhibit is powerful and sends a clear message. It did its job well.

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One Response to Apartheid Brought Back To Life.

  1. Professor Bernstein says:

    Yes, a very powerful exhibit -a reminder of the power of photography.

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