SEEING AND BEING SEEN
ISABELLE DESCOMBES and CHILDREN OF SOWETO
4 to 18 May 2018
Centre des arts, La Grande Boissière
Vernissage: 4 May 2018, 17:00-19:00
Exhibition: 5 to 18 May 2018 (Monday to Friday 8:30-17:00 / Saturday and Sunday 13:00-18:00)
« Seeing and being seen » is an exhibition of portrait photographs and the life testimonies of young people followed over a two year period in their school in Zondi, Soweto, an historically segregated « black » township south west of Johannesburg. Taken by Isabelle Descombes, these larger than life-size portraits capture the strengths and resilience of each unique individual, while collectively recreating a sense of the hope, inspiration and determination that anchors their daily struggles to survive and build a brighter future for themselves and their country. The exhibition also features texts and photographs by these same students. They tell touching stories of how young South Africans today see themselves, their lives and the challenges they face in their world. They vividly portray the things that sadden and inspire them in their community and the hopes and vision they have for the future.
The full collection of portraits and testimonies of the 85 young students who took part in the original project was gathered in a book that will also be available at the exhibition. All proceeds from the book sale will go towards creating a scholarship scheme for students from this school, to enable them to pursue their education and professional training. In this way we hope to participate in making it possible for these young people to realise their dreams for themselves, their visions for South Africa and to contribute to the positive development of their community.
Vernissage in the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa Dr. Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele, Vijé Franchi (co-coordinator of the project and co-author of Seeing and Being Seen: South Africa Through the Eyes of its Youth), Mduduzi Maphindikazi Mathe (Principal, Bhukulani Secondary School) and Vuyelwa Gwendoline Sibelekwana (Head of the Department of Social Sciences).
With the support of the Association suisse des Amis du Dr Janusz Korczak, Mungo Park and South African Airways.