The exhibition, Movie Snaps, comprises photographs and installations that take us back to the years before and during apartheid. Conceptualised by Dr Siona O’Connell, this project has elicited responses from people across the country and further afield.
In homes from Bantry Bay to Bonteheuwel, Milnerton to Mitchells Plain, one is likely to find a ‘Movie Snaps’ photograph that tells stories about Cape Town and its citizens in very particular ways.
The ‘Movie Snaps’ studio that began in a building on the edge of the Grand Parade at the start of the second World War, provides the photographic backdrop of Jewish families in South Africa on the one hand, and on the other, the further annihilation and fragmentation of lives legislated through apartheid in 1948. Positioned opposite the Cape Town General Post Office, photographers snapped thousands of Cape Town residents going about their daily lives, continuing this practice for over forty years.
Once they crossed the photographer’s chalk line, they were convinced to take a ticket in the hope that they would purchase the image a few days later from the kiosk. These snapshots show women resplendent in tulle dresses or wearing flared bell-bottoms, sailors boasted their crisp white uniforms while Muslim children celebrated Christmas with their Christian friends. The pictures illustrate moments of ordinary living in extraordinary times. They offer a counterpoint to the now familiar narrative of apartheid’s series of carefully composed images of burning tires, mass protests and violence and urge a consideration of the afterlives of apartheid.
31 January 2015, 11h00. Open to the public
Opening address by Professor Brian O’Connell, former rector of the University of the Western Cape
Open 31 January 2015 – 28 February 2015.
09h30 – 15h30 (Daily)