Zwelethu Mthethwa 

Mthethwa was born in 1960 in Durban,Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. “His work is grounded in tradition, yet he imbues it with a riveting contemporary presence. He yanks the viewer through the looking-glass into his painterly planet. It is a world full of possible “windows”, yet these openings are flat surfaces soaked in subtly modulated fictions. And his paintings serve as visual songs, their lyrics narrating a story of how painting refers to itself while being fed by experiential nutrients. They serve both as parentheses within the real world and as vividly evocative vignettes of moments, intensely lived.”

- Hazel Friedman


  • Research Associate at Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT, 2000
  • Appointed Senior Lecturer, Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT,1998
  • Lecturer of Photography and Drawing at Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT 1994-98.
  • Customer Projects Coordinator for Truworths, 1991-93.
  • Master of Fine Arts in Imaging Art, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA, 1989
  • Assistant Coordinator Children´s Project for Community Arts Project, 1988-89
  • Cultural Organizer for Department of Education and Training, 1986-87
  • Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts, Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT,1 985
  • Diploma in Fine Arts, Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT, 1984


Viviane Sassen (1972, Nederland)


Shot in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana, the ‘Flamboya’ photographs stand as paradigmatic for Sassen’s new way of looking at Africa –one devoid of sentimentality and that through poetical metaphors acknowledges the challenges and drawbacks of its complex reality.
Without giving up figurative means, Sassen went on developing a visual language that questions the stereotypes about Africa and ethnic otherness.



The moody, chiaroscuroed photographs of Viviane Sassen vacillate between the documentary and the dreamlike, evoking the sense that everyday life might be more mysterious than it seems. Though Sassen was born in the Netherlands, where she continues to live, she makes many of her images in Africa - often Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, and Kenya, where her family lived for three years beginning when she was a child. Despite her young age, this early experience had a profoundand formative effect on her, ans she returned to Africa in 2002, after studying both fashion and photography, to find that the continent still held a strong sway over her.

Nevertheless, Sassen’s relationship to Africa is complicated. She has said that although she feels at home there, she knows that she can only ever occupy a foreigner’s position. This tension shows up in her photographs, which feel intimate to the spirit of the people and places depicted, but also fail to fully capture them, as if chasing a ghost that vanishes as soon as it is looked at. Often, Sassen deliberately obscures the faces of the subjects in her pictures, whether through a simple turn of the head, or through her frequent deployment of jet-black shadow. It is a gesture that, she has said, functions to remove her subject from the potentially objectifying gaze of the viewer and to annul her own gaze as well: consequently, her subjects and scenes remain only partially disclosed, like the half-remembered vignettes of dreams or memories. Sassen’s series Parasomnia - its name borrowed from a category of sleep - is marked by some of her most enigmatic images of this kind, which often appear to be no longer moored to the continent in which they were made, but set adrift in the realm of reverie.

Bron: Il Palazzo Enciclopedico, Short Guide, La Biennale di Venezia 2013

I have been looking for this photo set for ages



Patrick Gries: In/Visibility

The albino in [some parts] Africa is considered a victim of evil or magical beliefs. His or her birth is often experienced as a curse. In Tanzania, they are often dismissed and ignored. Thus the albino is, in a way, transparent. There is thus a paradox to their visibility and invisibility. They are noticed for their obvious difference in appearance from the black African population, and yet socially, they are ghosts —  Zeru Zeru. As they have no civic legitimacy, they do not exist.

Since 2005, Tanzania has experienced a series of horrific massacres and mutilations of albinos. These attacks are inextricably linked to, among other things, the emergence of gold mining in the Great Lakes region that brought with it an influx of miners in the quest of riches and sorcerers extolling the virtues of good fortune brought by the body parts and organs of albinos. What followed was a veritable manhunt, especially of children, in the rural areas.

Read more + more pictures

Dedicated to the Cultural Preservation of the African Aesthetic



Don’t miss  - You know what I’m seeing? - Carte Blanche upcoming show - in San Francisco, April 18th and 19th

Including work by Loris Savino

Gold is money, everything else is credit, he once said the banker JP Morgan.
Gold is a source of income for both producers and consumers.
Artisanal and small-scale mining is estimated to supply 13 percent of the world’s gold production per annum, or about 330 tonnes of average annual mining production in recent years. From this, the current value of annual artisanal and smallscale gold production in 2010,11 is worth around US 10.5 billion. Working on the highly conservative basis that artisanal and small-scale mining makes up 8 percent of national gold production Mali strategic position in medieval times close to both the prosperous sites for the extraction of gold and salt and the main trade routes through the Sahara gave commodities like gold, salt, and slaves a crucial role in the economy of the ancient Mali kingdom.
In the last decade Mali has experienced a gold boom. Today Mali is Africas third largest producer of gold and has one of the world’s most golddependent economies. Gold production grew to 50 metric tons last year from 46 tons the year before, A government plan to support smaller companies to start producing will push output to 100 tons within two or three years.
There are over 350 artisanal mining sites across Western and Southern Mali; their precise number is unknown even to the government.
Estimates put the number of artisanal gold miners in Mali between 100,000 and 200,000. Around 20 percent of artisanal gold miners are children. About 20 000 children are working in illegal mines in Mali. These children literally risk life and limb, said Human Rights Watch. They carry loads heavier than their own weight, climb into unstable shafts, and touch and inhale mercury, one of the most toxic substances on earth.
Artisanal gold miners in Mali and all over the world use mercury to extract gold from ore, because it is inexpensive and easy to use. Artisanal miners are exposed to mercury through the inhalation of vapors that develop when the amalgam is smelted. Researchers have described mercury intoxication an invisible epidemic.

Loris Savino

Loris Savino was born in Milan Italy, where he established himself as a
photojournalist working as a staff photographer for GraziaNeri and Contrasto agency. His work appearing in such publications as TIme, Vanity Fair and l‘Express. In 2008 Loris became a freelance photographer and is currently living between Milan and Barcelona : worked several time in a middle east area for the Betweenlands project, it was exhibited in gallery and museum in Istanbul, Milan, Naples, Turin. He was awarded the Baldoni Prize 2007 for his work on a Kibera’s slum in Nairobi.
He’s still working on the Mediterranean country with focus on migration and social impact in that area.