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Contemporary South African reality


The show “Pieter Hugo _Kin_”, by the South African photographer Pieter Hugo, has been displayed in Europe for the first time, a bittersweet perspective of his native country produced over the past eight years (2006-2013) in which he reflects on the idea of home and distance that separates the ideals of a society from its most immediate reality. This is a new view of South Africa, one that questions the idea we have of this country in the West, through a personal and introspective photographic essay that is both ambitious and defiant, an original and captivating overview of contemporary photography.

Colonisation, racial diversity, economic inequality in South Africa are some of the topics of this series which the photographer already dealt with in previous projects such as “Nollywood” or “The Hyena and Other Men” in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Botswana and which he now explores in his own country, the author’s personal journey through landscapes, portraits and still lifes that presents us with overcrowded districts, disputed farmlands, abandoned mining areas and spaces of political influence as well as still lifes of powerful psychological intensity, images of the homeless or intimate portraits of his pregnant wife, of his daughter a few moments after birth or the domestic employee who worked for his family over three generations. Co-produced by the Foto Colectania Foundation and the

Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson of Paris, the show was accompanied by the book of the same name published by the North American Aperture Foundation.

In parallel, the Filmoteca de Catalunya, the Catalan Film Library, has organised a four-film series connected with South Africa: “The Bang Bang Club” (2010) by Steven Silver, which tells the real story of four photographers who documented the end of apartheid; “Into the shadows-Urban survivors in South Africa” (2011), a documentary by Pep Bonet on local immigration; “Tsotsi” (2005) by Gavin Hood, which deals with youth violence in Johannesburg and was recognised with an Oscar; and “Plot for Peace” (2013) by Carlos Agulló, which narrates the fall of apartheid and the freeing of Nelson Mandela.


Julián Romea 6, 08017 Barcelona (Spain)

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