Wiseman practises his skill
in Khayelitsha,
using a borrowed camera
Photos by Tracey Derrick


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Cameras wanted

Tracey Derrick writes:

In the townships, there are photographers who earn a living by taking photos of local residents. A R3 deposit is required before the photograph is taken, and then another R3 when the photo is handed over. This enables the photographer to earn a small but steady income.

As a photographer myself, I am part of a pilot programme to teach more people to make their living this way, but we need more cameras to get the project going. The cameras will not be given to the students for free - Wiseman, an ex-security guard who is already a photographer, and who I am training as a teacher, suggests a fee of R10 a week, which will go to cover other expenses.

We will focus on natural light, composition, concentrating on portraiture and group photography, but will also cover basic landscape photography.

I am appealing for people who have usable cameras they do not need to pass these on to the project. I can be contacted at concept@addaspect.co.za, or on my cell: 082-895-9717.

South African Centre for Photography newsletter

Geoff Grundlingh writes:

I send out a monthly update of news related to our programmes. From the beginning then: An increasing number of South African photographers have expressed their frustrations about the total lack of impetus and planning in our discipline. All of us, regardless of which sphere of photography we work in, feel that nothing is being done to promote South African photography.

About a year ago it was decided (after months of talking) to form an institution for all of us that would structure and run a series of inter-related projects designed to promote photography in Southern Africa. Our aim, (and you will find this on all our correspondence) is "to endeavour to promote a broader understanding of the medium of photography in all its forms,and to foster the development of its practice, teaching, scholarship and criticism through the establishment of sustainable ongoing programmes."

Our priority during 1998 has been to find money and people to help realise our aims. To date we have raised R100 000 and have three very able and willing project co-ordinators working for the Centre for Photography.

Julia Tiffin is now running the provisionally named "Print of the Month" project. This project is crucial in that it is our only income-generating project and can bring in approximately R500 000 per year if successful. Essentially structured like a wine of the month club, subscribers will pay a monthly subscription for which they will receive either four or 12 (depending on $$) original signed and dated prints by South African photographers. Julia will select four photographers every year. So far she has been very fortunate in getting Lien Botha, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Herman Potgieter (by kind permission of his wife Jackie) and she is negotiating with a fourth photographer to be in portfolio one.

The idea is to choose a cross section of photographers each year and to include as many different genres (not just fine art photo) as possible. Our aim is to get South Africans used to buying photography and to market SA photography abroad. Anyone wishing to support this project or needing more info can contact Julia at julia@lizard.co.za.

The latest project to get off the line is our Street Photographer/job creation programme which Tracey Derrick is running. Tracey is the perfect person for this and I am delighted she agreed to take it on. Fortuitously Paul Weinberg recently let me know that the Durban Centre for Photography (DCP) had raised R24 000 for a Street Photographer project and that R8 000 was earmarked for Cape Town. Tracey is starting her programme with these funds. Thank you Paul (and the McCarthy Retail Foundation). Tracey is also working with the Cape Times to run a collection drive for old and unwanted 35mm cameras (Cameras for Africa) which will be given to candidates in the job creation programme. Tracey can be contacted at tracey@addaspect.co.za.

Jean Brundrit (University of Stellenbosch) is taking care of the school's pinhole projects. We have lots of funding requests out there and we are convinced this project will do wonders for introducing photography into the new curriculum 2005 syllabus which will return huge dividends down the line. We need a bus to convert into a mobile darkroom and will employ two art teachers to run this project in Western Cape to start. Our projects are not art but visual literacy, lifeskills and numeracy based in order to become more mainstream.

Last week, we became the proud occupants of three huge spaces on the Hiddingh Hall campus and can now start to plan our gallery, printroom and resource centre (thank you UCT). We have started work on Cape Town's first photo festival next October (it will be a biennial event and we have received a generous donation from the City of Cape Town towards the educational component of this biennial) and are talking to the PPSA and others about further eroding of existing barriers between different factions and interest groups in South African photography. For now we are concentrating on Julia's Print of the Month project ($$$) and helping Revue Noire make a success of their 'eye Africa' show which is a French-curated exhibition of African photography coming to Cape Town this Xmas.

You will hear from me once a month (hopefully only if I have good news) and you are invited to participate in this forum and/or our activities in which ever way you like.

Indigenous art on the Net

From: Donna Hand-Lee and Jeff Lee

Subject: Trophies of Honor - Art Chronicles of Indigenous Peoples

Trophies of Honor (see our website) is a project to chronicle and preserve native culture and art by presenting museum quality works on the Internet in exhibition form. We are a core group consisting of approximately 100 indigenous artists who wish to use the idea of "digital immortality" to make native art and its story available to future generations. The project has a two-fold purpose: exhibit 1) by utilising the Internet as a global format we will focus on the challenge of bringing the vast resource of native cultures into the rapidly developing field of information technology 2) chronicles as it stands, without analysis or interpretation, will be made available to educational organizations for study and exposure of the culture on behalf of indigenous peoples everywhere. Moreover, the chronicles will be a reference resource for all with interest, but even more so a repository of information for all peoples of indigenous background to study art.

This evolving project is hosted by Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and Mississippi State University in conjunction with the FineArt Forum. FineArt Forum. Trophies of Honor is a project dedicated to indigenous peoples around the world. The project is being used as a resource in several dozen colleges and universities and was featured in several magazines, including the Yahoo Internet Life Magazine. Thank you for your support.

Call from Oz for gay and lesbian work

From: Jillian Hayden

Subject: soft where hard dither(ing)

soft where hard dither(ing)* is a new media/digital arts project that we are putting together as an official 1999 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festival event. This project consists of an exhibition (Chrissie Cotter Gallery Camperdown NSW Australia) 10-21-Feb 1999 as well as an interactive website linked to the official mardi gras website.

We are currently contacting glbt & queer identified digital artists, ISPs and organisations in the development of this project on the internet. The gallery exhibition has already been curated although there may be room on stand alone PCs for accessing screen-based works.

We are seeking
1) Original artworks on web servers that you would like us to consider for linking to this project.
2) Text/essays exploring such ideas as:
- the intersection of identities and virtualities;
- experiences as an out artist on the www;
- critiques of gay and lesbian, queer etc use of the internet as well as digital artforms.
3) Any other such specific activities planned or realised that you think are worth making some links to???

If you are interested in participating in the website, contact us soon at softerharder@yahoo.com.

...ZA@PLAY   MWeb

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