Closed Constructions was a photographic exhibition and public programme on contemporary life and the heritage of government hostels and compounds in Gauteng. It presented a unique a unique body of work dealing with the architecture of apartheid as represented in these single sex housing structures that were built by Gauteng’s municipalities for both males and females since the turn of the 19th century.
The Closed Constructions exhibition showcased over 350 works from more than 30 photographers at the Workers Museum in Newtown, Johannesburg. It also contained a remarkable collection of oral histories by workers who have been living in the hostels since the 1950s. Closed Constructions was initiated by Khanya College in 2008 as a memory and heritage project with a strong focus on capacity building for young photographers, oral history researchers and hostel residents.
It has been implemented in partnership with the Market Photo Workshop and in collaboration with the History Department of WITS University.
Closed Constructions was the result of a collaborative project called Hostels and Compounds.
About Khanya College:
Khanya College is an independent, non-governmental organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Established in 1986, the primary aim of Khanya College is to assist various constituencies within working class and poor communities to respond to the challenges posed by the forces of economic and political globalisation. Khanya College offers assistance through providing educational and training workshops,
publications and research to organisations and individuals in these communities.
Closed Constructions is a project of Khanyas Working Class History Programme that aims to preserve and promote the heritage of working class communities.
About the Workers Museum (Exhibition Venue)
The Workers Museum strives to keep the heritage of migrant workers of Southern Africa alive. Located in a former compound for Johannesburg’s municipal workers in Newtown, Johannesburg, it represents a site of conscience for the rigorous control and exploitation that millions of migrant workers experienced during the predominance of the migrant labour system.
Opening hours of the museum are Tuesday to Sunday, 9am – 5 pm.