Columbarium

1. a. Rom. Antiq. A subterranean sepulchre, having in its walls niches or holes for cinerary urns; also one of these niches or recesses.
b. A similar structure in a modern crematorium.
2. A pigeon-house, dove-cote; a pigeon-hole.
3. A hole left in a wall for the insertion of the end of a beam.
George Mahashe

George Mahashe was born in Ga-kgapane in the Bolobedu district in 1982; he first practiced photography as an assistant to the local roaming photographer. He obtained a B-tech in photography at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in 2005 with a dissertation titled “The use and effect of photography on the human condition”, in which he attempted to understand the impact of visuals on the social and cultural life of his immediate society.

He practiced photography, working commercially in advertising and editorial photography, and also worked as an assistant lecturer and tutor in photography at TUT and the Alf Khumalo Museum.

He has exhibited photographic and video works in group and solo exhibitions, both locally and internationally. In his recent exhibition, titled “Gae Lebowa”, which opened in 2010, he attempted to shed light on the history of Balobedu people using his personal and family history as a background, and looking at the institution of the Sekhapa dance, oral history and anthropological inventions as subjects, focusing on how these shape the transferal and preservation of history and culture.

In 2010 he took on “South African ethnography and approaches to culture” as his subject at the University of the Witwatersrand, consolidating his interests in anthropology and photography’s historical entanglement.

He is now a Masters student at Michaelis, as part of ARC’s bursary programme, where he will study the Krige photographic archive of the Lobedu people, in the hope of comprehending the impact of the legacy of these photographs on the two cultures that gives rise to them.