A photographer a day: Santu Mofokeng

Day 7 of the series: Santu Mofokeng

Master storyteller and legend - I’ve wanted to write about Santu Mofokeng for a while but I keep procrastinating. This is because I have so much respect for him and his work.....I also don’t feel qualified to write about him. 

Researcher, writer, storyteller and photographer, Santu was born in 1956, in Johannesburg Gauteng. Throughout the years he's been involved in numerous projects and exhibited his work throughout the world. A freelance curator, writer, researcher and photographer, he produces work concerned with issues of representation. 

This is him, speaking on these issues: 

“Growing up in Soweto, I was a vegetarian during the week and a carnivore on Sundays. I didn’t look at it that way - it was happenstance. A condition, like any other I took for granted. Penury, I dare say, is not a choice. But coping with, and accepting it, is.” 

Even the most gruesome images of Soweto have come to possess a kind of comforting familiarity for international audiences. People assume they know not only what Soweto looks like, but also what it is to live there.

Well, yes and no, It is not that violence and squalor we have become so accustomed to seeing are not real. It is just that they are partial realities that do not encompass people’s lives. Ironically the endless repetition of these images serves to exclude other kinds of suffering.”

With his images, the line between documentation, storytelling and art is very thin. Most, have something which deeply moves your soul...sometimes in ways in which you fail to articulate. 

Nkgopoleng MoloiComment