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DocuFest Africa is a documentary photography and archives festival which was launched at Michaelhouse in the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in April 2013. The Festival sought to showcase the best of documentary photography and archives curation placing documentary practice in the context of its enduring long-term importance for history.

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The interface between those recording history (the media – photographers, filmmakers and journalists) and those who become the custodians of history (heritage professionals – archivists, museologists and librarians) we believe will inspire enduring documentary practice and is an interaction that the Festival seeks to facilitate.

DocuFest Africa ran parallel to Africa’s foremost documentary film festival, Encounters from Saturday evening April 6, 2013 to Sunday April 7, 2013. Both Festivals happened in the midst of The Digital Campus providing world class training to media and heritage professionals.

DocuFest Africa Programme:

Africa and Africans in World Press Photo: Michiel Munekke Sat 6 April 7:00 – 8:30
From Woodstock to Splashy: David Marks Sun 7 April 8:30 – 9:30
Dear Edward – family footprints: Paul Weinberg Sun 7 April 9:30 – 10:30
Africa and Africans in World Press Photo: Michiel Munekke Sun 7 April 11:00- 12:00
Amatsha Ntliziyo: The Never-Give-Ups: Eric Miller Sun 7 April 12:00 – 13:00
Call and Response: Cedric Nunn Sun 7 April 14:00 – 15:00
Documenting the Documenters: Ricardo Rangel and Mozambican Photography Sun 7 April 15:15 – 16:15
Documentary Practice: A New Generation: Peter McKenzie Sun 7 April 16:30 – 17:30

Cost: R40 per presentation | Book and pay by credit card online or pay at the door

Queries: email rosanne@africamediaonline.com or call 082 829 7959

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Saturday April 6, 2013

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 Africa and Africans in World Press Photo

Presenter: Michiel Munekke

Time: 7 pm on 6 April and 11am on 7 April

Format: Screening and talk

Ticket: R40

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World Press Photo is the World’s largest professional annual photojournalism competition. To win a World Press Photo award is to win an Oscar as far as photojournalists go.

In this screening and talk Director of World Press Photo, Michiel Munekke will look at how Sub Sahara Africa has been represented in the results of the World Press Photo contests between 1955 and 2013. Reflected in the pictures are the era of decolonisation through to the rise of the African middle class and the most important issues in between.

Michiel will also look at why and how has World Press Photo supported the African photojournalistic community between 1997 and 2013 from their first workshop in Johannesburg to “Africa on the Road to Twenty Ten and beyond” project in 2010.

 

The World Press Photo of the Year 1977: Leslie Hammond (South Africa), The Argus; Police throw tear-gas at a group of chanting residents of the Modderdam squatter camp protesting against the demolition of their homes outside Cape Town

The World Press Photo of the Year 1977: Leslie Hammond (South Africa), The Argus; Police throw tear-gas at a group of chanting residents of the Modderdam squatter camp protesting against the demolition of their homes outside Cape Town

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Sunday April 7, 2013

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From Woodstock to Splashy (via Witbank and Welkom): Documenting South African Music over 5 Decades

Presenter: David Marks

Time: 8:30 am

Format: Screening and talk

Ticket: R40

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The Curious Beauty of African Music is that it uplifts as it tells a sad tale. You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but song gives you hope. African Music is often about aspirations of African people, and it can ignite the political resolve of those who might otherwise be indifferent to politics. One merely has to witness the infectious singing at rallies. Politics can be strengthened by music, but music has a potency that defies politics. (Nelson Mandela)

Nowhere has the history of popular music existed in quite so bizarre a climate as that of South Africa during its ‘internal exile’ and it’s ‘international isolation’ – its hidden years. Much of our music past, like that of our political past, is hard to access. Just as people and books were banned and censored – no reasons given – so too were some musicians and their music. Most of the recordings restricted or avoided by the SABC were not even political. The Government at the time would claim that it was the artist, who by reflecting and questioning their racist policies, were the ones threatening the order, safety and security of the State.

Despite their popularity and their influence – attracting large crowds to concerts on campus, in townships and to the odd mixed club – without commercial industry support – many of these musicians remain ignored by the mainstream industry today.

The legendary David Marks of 3rd Ear Music takes his audience on a journey through 5 decades of South African music documented by himself and others. David was the sound man at the famous Woodstock music festival in the 1960s.

David Marks lives down the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast and spends his time among mountains or archival material to do with the history of South African music. He has spent a decade building The Hidden Years online archive. David has been Music Director, Producer and Archivist of 3rd Ear Music since 1970. View an extensive biography of David…

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Dear Edward – family footprints

Presenter: Paul Weinberg

Time: 9:30 am

Format: Talk and film screening

Ticket: R40

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Paul Weinberg has been a photographer for over 30 years documenting the southern African landscape. This presentation comes on the back of a book and exhibition of a personal journey into his family archives. As a child his sorties into an old black trunk that the family had at home where he encountered stamps, letters, photographs and most importantly postcards, excited his imagination to a world far beyond the borders of South Africa and the African continent. They became a collection of connections to his grandparents, to their ‘roots’ in eastern Europe and his own. The book and exhibition explores his past as he retraces his family footprints in South Africa. It takes him to far flung small towns in the interior of South Africa where the family eventually found a niche for themselves in the hotel trade. In the form of postcards to his greatgrandfather Edward, it is on one hand a visual narrative of this journey and on another a multi-layered travel book, as he pieces the jigsaw of his family’s footprints together. A sub theme of the book is a story of the ‘old hotel’ which was at one point so central and dynamic in the lives of many of these small towns. Weinberg revisits these hotels and explores their whereabouts, and their evolution. Weaving history, historiographies, memoir, archive into a personal pilgrimage, this project offers fresh insights and perspectives on a family who made this country their ‘adopted home’.  Through the metaphor of the postcard this book sets up a dialogue between the author, his greatgrandfather – the past, the present – and asks important questions about who writes history, and who is left out.

Paul Weinberg is a South African born photographer with a strong commitment to the land and its people. He was a founder member of Afrapix photographic agency, well known for its uncompromising stand and visual portrayal of the apartheid system and the resistance to it and later helped establish South Photographs, a family of South African documentary photographers. Paul has a large body of work that explores people, life, culture and environment around him, beyond the news and beyond the headlines. His work has often been against the traffic challenging stereotypes, prevailing comfortable myths and himself as in the case of his documentary of his home-town, Pietermaritzburg (Going Home, 1985-90).

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Documenting the Documenters: Ricardo Rangel and Mozambican Photography

Presenter: Rui Assubuji

Including the film: 

No Flash: Homage to Ricardo Rangel, photographer (Mozambique, 1924–2009)

Director: Bruno Z’Graggen & Angelo Sansone

Switzerland, 2012, 56min, Portuguese with English subtitles

Time: 15:15

Format: Talk and film screening

Ticket: R40

Mozambican photographer, curator and archivist, Rui Assubuji will introduce and present a film by Bruno Z’Graggen & Angelo Sansone on the life and work of the “father” of the Mozambican documentary photography tradition, Ricardo Rangel.

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Ricardo Rangel‘s legacy is impressive. His work as a photoreporter, freelance photo–grapher and head of the Centro de Formação Fotográfica (CFF) covers a period ofover 50 years. He had a lasting influence on the print media in Mozambique. His chef-d‘oeuvre Our Nightly Bread (1959–1975) is a revealing account of the pulsating night life in Lourenço Marques (Maputo) and founded his international reputation. In 1983, eight years after independence, he established the CFF, which he headed until his death. With a school, documentation centre, studio and laboratories, the Centre is unique in Africa. Its archive is immensely important as visual memory for the country.

The film pays tribute to Rangel‘s life work. In scenes shot in 2003, he gives a fascinating account of his experience in the colonial period, visits locations, recalls the shooting of Our Nightly Bread and shows us around the CFF. In 2011, Portuguese art critic and journalist Alexandre Pomar and photographer Sérgio Santimano, a «pupil» of Rangel, assess in interviews his importance. Kok Nam, a photographer and colleague, and Luís Carlos Patraquim, a poet and journalist, round off the image of Ricardo Rangel. The portrait gives an insight into the life and work of an outstanding photographer and a charismatic personality, a man with a passion for photography and jazz, full of life, humorous, independent and incorruptible, hugely productive and with a sensitive eye for people in difficult contexts.

Rui (Carlos de Noronha) Assubuji was born the son of a civil servant in 1964 on the Island of Ibo in the Querimbas Archipelago, in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado. In 1985 he was employed as a camera assistant at TVE (now TVM), and by 1986 he was working as a camera operator there. In 1987 he completed a course in photography at CFF, directed by Ricardo Rangel. He returned to TVE in 1988 to shoot for news and documentaries, and later for advertising and marketing. In 1990 he worked for video and photographic production houses in Italy, the gallery ‘Il Diafragma’, and ‘Photo Practica’ magazine. In 1992 he returned to Maputo to work as a freelance camera operator and photographer. In 1997 he worked as a news cameraman for RTP in Maputo. Rui has exhibited his own photography work. He lives and works in Maputo.

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Amatsha Ntliziyo: The Never-Give-Ups

Presenter: Eric Miller

Time 12:00 am

Format: Screening and talk

Ticket: R40

Veteran Photojournalist, Eric Miller, will present a screening of his long term project “Supergrannies”.

Thousands of grandmothers across South Africa are having to cope with the consequences of the AIDS pandemic, at a time when they had hoped to retire and be cared for by their families.

These grannies are taking on greater responsibility than they could ever have imagined as they care for their own ill and dying children, and become parents to their orphaned grandchildren.

the-nevergiveups-inviation_croppedSupergrannies is a photo exhibition about a group of grandmothers who are showing extraordinary grit, care for others and even humour, despite the heavy burdens they carry. The grannies in the exhibition are among the many who have formed a support and activist group called Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS. This organization, they say, “is keeping us alive”.

Acclaimed South African photojournalist Eric Miller has captured the struggle and spirit of 17 grandmothers in intimate portraits and vivid portrayals of their daily lives. The photographs will be combined with excerpts from the grandmothers’ life stories, documented by award-winning South African journalist Jo-Anne Smetherham.

Eric Miller is one of the most widely published and experienced photojournalists working in South Africa. In the 1980s, he documented the struggle against apartheid and since the 1990s he has covered various aspects of the transformation process in South Africa, as well as travelling extensively across Africa on assignment for various European publications

Miller has worked on a range of assignments, from news-related stories covering the horrors of the Rwandan genocide and famine in Sudan, to human interest features such as women’s boxing, the training of sangomas and evocative essays capturing highlights of several dance and opera productions.

He has worked in over 26 African countries, plus many others further afield, producing an extensive archive of documentary stock and some travel images from countries including Botswana, Cuba, Congo (DRC), Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Having spent several years working for the wire services, Reuters & AP, Miller now works freelance. Miller works mostly on assignment for a variety of European newspapers and magazines, as well as for both South African and international NGOs. His work has been published in most major magazines in South Africa and is regularly used in a range of major publications across Europe and the United States.

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Call and Response

Presenter: Cedric Nunn

Time: 2:00 pm

Format: Screening and talk

Ticket: R40

Veteran documentary photographer, Cedric Nunn will present a screening of his retrospective, Call and Response.

Nunn is deeply sensitive to the complexity of life lived in rural southern Africa. He does not paint a picture of a pastoral idyll but notes the hardships brought on by migrant labour, farm evictions, drought and overgrazing, feudal relationships, and government-fomented factional and tribal rivalries. At the same time, he notices the small joys of home and community, the nuances of family ties and loyalties, the extraordinary resilience of people in the face of hardship and poverty. Nunn’s work conveys a deep sense of the injustices of life in South Africa but, at the same time, an enduring commitment to the potential for change.

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Cedric Nunn began working professionally as a photographer when he was twenty-five. It was 1983 and South Africa was entering one of the darkest periods in its history. Nunn had joined the agency Afrapix, determined to make images about life in South Africa that he was not seeing in the media. Almost thirty years later, Nunn is firmly established as one of South Africa’s most important photographers. His work has ranged widely across the South African physical and political landscape and he has photographed rallies, funerals, and, in the early 1990s, the momentous political events surrounding Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Nunn’s most powerful images, however, focus on individuals and lives in places far from the noise of rallies and parades. He has amassed a wealth of images in rural Kwazulu-Natal, where his own family is from, that capture the minutiae of rural life and serve as one the most important records of rural South Africa under apartheid. Nunn’s photographs evince a deep sense of compassion for people who struggle for their livelihood in adverse circumstances and his work is at its most eloquent in the homes of tenant farmers and their families, or in country classrooms, or crossing fields with women carrying water and firewood.

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Documentary Practice: A New Generation

Presenter: Peter McKenzie

Time: 4:30 pm

Ticket: R40

How do we teach and mentor a generation of younger photographers whose world is contextualized with newfound realities? How do they see their world given the tensions between contemporary existence and legacies that impinge on it?

Veteran photographer and photography educator, Peter McKenzie, is going to answer these questions through the presentation of work from students at the KZNSA’s Durban Center for Photography. “We are attempting to mentor a new aesthetic, one that reflects and mirrors South Africa’s transitional and developmental dispensation with a visual dialogue that informs practice,” says McKenzie. These subjects have been explored by the current group of students through 3 essays:

  1. I am: Reflecting issues of identity and belonging
  2. Sheroes and Heroes: A portrait of  a chosen paragon
  3. Sabenza: Notions of jobs unique and unusual to our context

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The KZNSA has revived the Durban Center for Photography that was started in the early nineties and folded after a couple of years. Given the unprecedented recognition that South African photography enjoys both locally and internationally the KZNSA it seemed timely to start this initiative that empowers and up-skills for possibility.

Peter McKenzie is a new member of Durban based multi disciplinary art collective Dala. He has recently co-founded the Durban Center for Photography at the KwaZulu Natal Society for the Arts where he also serves as Council President. He was most recently artist and co-curator of the ‘Homing’ exhibition at the KZNSA. He has lectured at Durban University of Technology, Tswane University of Technology, the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism and the Market Photo Workshop and facilitated photography workshops internationally. He is council member for the Market Theatre Foundation and Advisory Board Member at the Market Photo Workshop. He is chief photographer for pan-African news agency Panapress in the SADCC region. He was photographer, curator and film-maker on pan African project ‘Footsak’ which was installed at DAG in June 2010. McKenzie has exhibited extensively internationally and his writings on photography have been published widely. His present pre-occupation in Durban is the re-imaging of urban space and a study of the history of African photography.

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Book and pay by credit card online OR send in the form and do an EFT

Find out about Travel and Accommodation

View the Encounters programme

View the Shutha Digital Campus training courses

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