The Impact of Democracy on the South African Social Documentary Photographer


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


This project investigates the impact of democracy, post-1994 elections, on the South African social documentary photography genre to determine whether emerging trends were aligned with Western trends within the genre during the ten-year period following these elections. A literature review of Western and South African social documentary photography provides context for the fieldwork component of the study, which will be based on in-depth qualitative interviews. The purpose of the interviews is to explore the personal experiences and motivations, the social and political agendas, and the cultural and aesthetic influences that contributed to the work of these photographers and their understanding of their own practice.