RECLAMATIONS – The Conversation

  • Format: Webinar/Workshop
  • Duration: 1hr 30mins
  • Language: English
  • Ages: PG
  • When: 03/07/2020 12:00 pm
  • Recorded: Yes

The Market Photo Workshop in partnership with the Tierney Family Foundation realise the importance of supporting the development of photographers and cultivating photography as a medium.  The Tierney Fellowship has since 2008 created opportunities for photographers and provided an ideal space for its Fellows to explore and express social issues of relevance to individuals and communities through photographic bodies of work. RECLAMATIONS –The Conversation reflects on the impact of the Tierney Fellowship on the Market Photo Workshop and its fellows, and the role of mentorships in supporting emerging artists in African photography. Why are mentorships platforms in South Africa and the rest of the continent urgent for development of photography? What role do mentors play in shaping photographic voice? How do young photographers affect their mentors?

This discussion is part of the Market Photo Workshop RECLAMATIONS exhibition. Did you miss it? Click PLAY on the video screen below to watch a recording of the live event.

Visit exhibition here


Panelists: Tshepiso Mabula ka Ndongeni, Buyaphi Mdledle, Lekgetho Makola, Molemo Moiloa, and Rory Bester
Moderated by M. Neelika Jayawardane
Presented by Market Photo Workshop and the Tierney Family Foundation


About the Market Photo Workshop The Market Photo Workshop is a Johannesburg-based school of photography, gallery and resource centre for practicing photographers. Since its establishment in 1989, the school has played an integral role in the training and growth of photographers from South Africa and further afield, while promoting photography through exhibitions, public debates and collaborative projects, especially within marginalized communities. The Market Photo Workshop is a division of The Market Theatre Foundation. Market Photo Workshop is the recipient of The Principal Prince Claus Award 2018.

Neelika Jayawardane is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York-Oswego, and a Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design (VIAD), University of Johannesburg (South Africa). She is a recipient of the 2018 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for a book project on Afrapix, a South African photographers’ agency that operated during the last decade of apartheid. Jayawardane was born in Sri Lanka, raised in Zambia, and completed her university education in the US, where she currently works. Her research concentrates on South Africa, and her scholarly publications focus on the nexus between written texts, visual art, photography, and the transnational/transhistorical implications of colonialism, ongoing forms of discrimination, displacement, and migration on individuals and communities. She was a founding member of the online project, Africa is a Country. Along with academic publications, and catalogue essays for exhibitions and artists’ books, her writing is featured in Al Jazeera English, Transition, Aperture, frieze, C&, Even Magazine, Contemporary Practices and more.

Currently the Head of Market Photo Workshop, Lekgetho James Makola bd.1974 sits on the International Advisory Committee to the Board of CatchLight–San Francisco USA, Social Documentary Network Advisory Committee member – Boston USA, and was on the Curatorial Advisory Committee of the 2017 Bamako Encounters – Mali. He has been in the judging panels for number of national and international Photography and Arts Awards in the past 5 years, including Thami Mnyele Art award, , World Press Photo Contest 2019 and in 2020 as Chair of General Jury. He participated as a reviewer in the 2018 New York Times Portfolio Review. He was on the Art Bank of South Africa Acquisition committee of 2018 and 2019. He co-founded Kali TV in Washington DC 2012, an online media platform reporting news on Diaspora communities in the USA. He is a founding member of Parallel Film Collective Washington DC, 2012 and Brand New Africa Foundation 2016.He also founded an independent production company KGETHI IMAGES (Pty)Ltd in August 2014 South Africa, which focuses on film, photography and art productions.Lekgetho is an active member of the virtual continental network Centers of Learning for Photography in Africa. During his leadership, he led Market Photo Workshop to be the recipient of The Principal Prince Claus Award 2018. Lekgetho Makola is the International Ford Foundation Fellow – Social Justice 2008.

Molemo Moiloa lives and works in Johannesburg, and has worked in various capacities at the intersection of creative practice and community organizing. Molemo’s academic work has focused on the political subjectivities of South African youth. She is also on ;e half of the artist collaborative MADEYOULOOK, who explore everyday popular imaginaries and their modalities for knowledge production. Up until recently, she was Director of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA). She also works with the Market Photo Workshop, the School of Arts and Social Anthropology department at the University of the Witwatersrand, and with Andani.Africa among others. Molemo has both a BA Fine Arts (cum laude) and MA Social Anthropology (cum laude) degree from WITS. MADEYOULOOK was nominated for the Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics 2016/17 at the New School, New York. Molemo was also a Chevening Clore Fellow 2016/17, and winner of a Vita Basadi Award for 2017.

Tshepiso Mabula ka Ndongeni is an independent writer photographer and writer born in the Lephalale district of Limpopo, South Africa. Mabula ka Ndongeni’s interest s were sparked when during a visit to a family member she was introduced to award-winning South African photographer Santu Mofokeng’s body of work, as well as literature from writers like Can Themba and the Botsotso Jesters group. She studied photojournalism and documentary photography at the iconic Market Photo workshop. She is the 2018 recipient of the Tierney fellowship at the Market photo workshop and she explores the small things through photography and literature: exposing the humanity in oppositional, chaotic or even boring environments. She captures the dignity in ordinary people, far removed from the glamorous or ideal atmospheres of high-profile art. Mabula ka Ndongeni’s writing deals mostly with memory, loss and the fleeting sense of what it means to truly belong. She creates works that uses strong creative approaches to change the narrative and address the issues that affect mostly black working class people in South Africa, Mabula ka Ndongeni’s work looks at how history can be reconciled with the present and it is a blueprint for an archive that will serve as a reference of the times to future generations. Her focus is also to tell stories that rewrite the narrative and change the perception on marginalised bodies that exist in our everyday culture. She questions ideas that speak to correcting social injustice.

Buyaphi Mdledle is a South African documentary photographer and Senior Trainer at the Market Photo Workshop. Mdledle completed the Market Photo Workshop’s Advanced Programme in Photography in 2003 and has taught photography intermittently at the Alf Khumalo School of Photography, Soweto; City Varsity, Cape Town and from 2010 at the Market Photo Workshop. He has exhibited locally and initiated a community photography project ‘Soweto Photo Album’ in Pimville, Soweto. He is the founder of Inyuvesi YakaBuyaphi a platform that develops photography programmes and photography education projects with young people in Soweto. Mdledle was the joint mentor of the Inaugural 2015 Tierney Bamako Award winner Moussa John Kalapo. Since 2015, he has been a mentor in The Photography Incubator Programme, which aims to enhance and elevate photographers’ business ventures and artistic practice through hands-on job practice, combined with technical and theoretical support and incubation. Mdledle curated the 40/40 Politics of Photography exhibition as part of commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1976 June16th Soweto Youth Uprisings and the role that Township based photojournalists played in witnessing and documenting youth activism in these 40 years. He also co-curated Other Worlds, an exhibition by Tierney Bamako Award recipient Moussa John Kalapo. Mdledle facilitated masterclasses and portfolio reviews for the Lupane State University Photography Programme in 2019. The programme sought to nurture photographers from Zimbabwe to be technically competent and capable of bringing critical thought to photography and society at large.

Rory Bester is an independent researcher, writer and curator. He is a former professor of art history and deputy head of the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Recent curatorial work includes A Short History of South African Photography (Fotografia Europea, Reggio Emilia, 2017), 50/50 (New Church Museum, Cape Town, 2015–2016) and Rise and Fall of Apartheid (ICP, New York, 2013). Bester’s research interests include photographic histories, theory and practice; contemporary South African art; and notions of artistic and creative practice in academic research.