An exhibition of Steve Bloom's photographs from the mid 1970’s, capturing a critical moment in the history of apartheid-era South Africa. Some of these images are being shown for the first time, while others have not been seen since they were first exhibited internationally three decades ago.
1976 was a critical year in South African history. The first real cracks in the apartheid system of racial segregation appeared when black school children took to the streets to protest against new laws, which had been introduced to reinforce an inferior education system. The authorities struck back ruthlessly, killing and wounding many defenseless children. It was a time of realisation: the beginning of the end of white complacency and black defeatism.
Bloom's work in Apartheid South Africa, poignant and edgy, reveals the alienation of a country on the cusp of change; placing Bloom among the select few photographers who caught the mood of the time.
Internationally acclaimed photographer Steve Bloom took to the streets and the townships, photographing people in this pivotal historical moment. Some of the pictures, edgy and fleeting, capture the tension of the time. Others, such as portraits of down-and-outs, show the utter despair of people under apartheid. In his images, Bloom manages to capture the complex emotional essence of the moment South Africa began to experience unstoppable, real dissent.
In 1977 (in the same week that Steve Biko was murdered by security police in South Africa) Steve Bloom travelled to London where, soon after, the International Defense and Aid Fund for South Africa published and exhibited these photographs internationally. Consequently, he was exiled from South Africa and would not return for another thirteen years. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Steve Biko’s death and likewise Bloom's images, not seen for decades, which provide a timely reminder of this troubled but important period in South Africa’s history.
Dates: 01 June to 30 June
Venue: Guardian Gallery (King's Place)
Address: Guardian News & Media, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9GU
Opening Times: 10am - 6pm, 7 days per week
© Steve Bloom
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