The Eye of Zwelethu Mthethwa
From: Sarah Lilley
Since the 1994 demise of South Africa's apartheid system, photography in that country has taken on a new freedom, and a new meaning. It has evolved out of a milieu of censorship into a form of truthtelling and, finally, artistic expression. Photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa talks about life during apartheid -- and the art that came after.
Aired on PRI's "Studio 360" on June 25, 2010.
ZWELETHU MTHETHWA: My name Zwelethu Mthethwa. I live in Cape Town. I'm an artist -- I do photography.
SARAH LILLEY: Zwelethu Mthethwa grew up in the town of Durban, in Eastern South Africa. His ambition was to be a painter.
ZM: A friend recommended to me that I go to the University of Cape Town, because it had the best art school at the time. But there was a catch to it, because as a black person I wasn't supposed to study in a white school.
SL: Photography was merely a loophole for Mthethwa. The black colleges didn't offer photography, so he applied to the Minister of Education to get special permission to attend the University of Cape Town. At the time -- and this was the early '80s -- the school was virtually all white, with an extremely small quota of black students.
ZM: So it was something... very surreal. It was very, very bizarre. We still had a “Group Areas Act”,...
Read the full transcript
Timing and Cues
Piece is 5:35 in length, with a 30-second music tail for fadeout/outro by individual stations.
Intro and OutroINTRO:
Since the 1994 demise of South Africa's apartheid system, photography in that country has taken on a new freedom, and a new meaning. It has evolved out of a milieu of censorship into a form of truthtelling and, finally, artistic expression. Producer Sarah Lilley spoke with a leading South African photographer about life during apartheid -- and the art that came after.OUTRO:
You can see some of Zwelethu Mthethwa's images at aperture.org.
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