How to Remember Apartheid with Pleasure: Vernacular Photography as a Theater of Identity and Survival in South Africa’s Black Townships


ACLS Fellowship Program


Visual Arts


South African history is usually illustrated by the documentary photographs that brought sympathy to the anti-apartheid struggle. But black South Africans also used other kinds of photography, such as studio portraits and snapshots, to create zones of freedom and conviviality, and to imagine a better future. This project is a book-length study of these vernacular images and their relevance for the post-apartheid generation, the primary research for which was completed in South Africa between 2010 and 2015.