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Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Six French and six South African photographers will travel across South Africa over the next three months, stopping at selected sites in different provinces to observe and record critical issues around land, ownership and belonging through their lenses.

The planned sites for the Social Landscape Photography project include mines and farms, and were selected in terms of their inherent resources and possible socio-political, economic, historical, environmental, ownership and other tensions that exist around each site.

Photographers confirmed for the project thus far include Jo Ractliffe, Santu Mofokeng, Pieter Hugo, Zanele Muholi and Thabiso Sekgala on the South African side. On the French side, confirmed photographers are Alain Willaume, Raphael Dallaporta, Thibaut Cuisset, Philippe Chancel and Patrick Tourneboeuf.

Included in the photographers’ route are areas in Gauteng, the Karoo in the Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Kimberley in the Northern Cape and Magopa in the North West among others.

The project is collaboration between the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg and Rencontres d’Arles in France, and is one of the major events of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013.

Bongani Tembe, Commissioner General for the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013, says the Social Landscape project brings together highly regarded photographers from France and South Africa who will work together at different locations during the second half of 2012. “The South African leg of the Social Landscape project will culminate in a public exhibition in Newtown, Johannesburg, in November that will showcase the work produced by the 12 photographers during their expedition across South Africa,” says Tembe.

The Social Landscape project will also feature at the international photography festival Les Rencontres d'Arles in France in July next year.

Central to the Social Landscape initiative is a public engagement programme, which will be driven by a strong social media campaign; a skills transfer and training initiative; and a research programme. The public will be able to enjoy open-air screenings and public discussions with specialist photographers, as well as experts in literature, politics and environmental affairs.

Any member of the public with access to the Internet, will be able to follow the photographers on their journey over the coming months. For more information, and to register to be kept up-to-date with the latest news on the French Season in South Africa 2012, visit