The Usual Suspect Exhibition Public Talk

The Market Photo Workshop, in partnership with the Fietas Museum, will be hosting a Public Talk on Wednesday 26 August 17h30 – 19h30 at the Fietas Museum, 25 14th St, Pageview, Johannesburg, 2092, South Africa.

The public talk, in engagement with The Usual Suspect – A solo exhibition by Siphosihle Mkhwanazi, will be a “talk back” between panel presentations and the audience.  Siphosihle’s The Usual Suspect explores what happens to a people and a community seeking validation, attainment and normality in Vrededorp – a place characterised by a substance abundant and use environment, which impacts on individuals’ life options and choices.

The public talk will cover topics that include but are not limited to how photography attempts to demystify stereotypes, representation and identity, and how human spirit seeks to survive in the face of urban decay and poverty.

Vernon Pillay, who is a Board Member of Fietas Museum, retired University of Johannesburg lecturer and a consummate professional, will moderate the discussion.

About the panel

Siphosihle Mkhwanazi, an alum of the Market Photo Workshop, is the second recipient of the Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography.  He was mentored by renowned South African photographer and 2011 World Press Photo of the Year winner, Jodi Bieber.  Angelo Fick is a resident current affairs and news analyst at eNCA.  He has twenty years’ experience teaching and researching across a variety of disciplines at universities in South Africa and Europe. Freda Dibetso is a community/social auxiliary worker at the South African National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence.

About the Fietas Museum

The Fietas Museum is a community initiative, occupying an intact original house in the once thriving 14th Street in multi-cultural suburb of Vrededorp/Pageview (Fietas).  In recognition of the structure’s importance, which characterise the pattern of home and trade in the Indian economic hub, the dwelling was awarded a Blue Plaque by the City in September 2013 and is acknowledged as a public heritage site.

The vibrant area of Pageview was subject to statutory acts of violence by the Nationalist regime, which saw some 10,000 people and their livelihoods driven out to racially designated areas and the destruction of the neighbourhood. The stories of this community is a vital piece of the national liberation route narrative, enabling future generations to understand the multi-cultural nature of the City prior to 1948, to appreciate the range of activism employed to resist the forced dispossession of land and the importance of sustaining democratic values as set out in the Freedom Charter, and our Constitution, as part of our everyday lives, for the future.

On exhibition in the Museum is an important well-curated collection of photographs by world renowned South African photographers, David Goldblatt and Paul Weinberg documenting the essence of a by gone era. The images on display give remarkable insight into the ordinary lives of Pageview residents.

In 2014, Fietas Museum agreed to partner with the Sophiatown Heritage and Cultural Centre, (SHCC) to collaborate in creating education and visitor routes about the removals in the historic western areas. Together, the Fietas Museum and the SHCC work to create opportunities for affected communities to participate in writing and recording their own history, and for these histories to be available to current and future generations. This programme of work will promote understanding of how integrated communities existed in Johannesburg prior to the 1948 apartheid government, and preserve first hand testimony for future generations to assess and present in their contemporary settings, so that these vital and diverse histories are sustained in our own languages, cultural contexts, and images.

Both communities have a cultural heritage promoting values around many important social issues as well as offering role models from across the racial, gender and cultural genres. They have historic national resonance and there is something for everyone in the Fietas-Sophiatown collaboration, which makes its heritage accessible and relevant to the wider Johannesburg story, the development of Soweto, Lenasia, Oriental Plaza, Fordsburg and in the larger landscape of the liberation struggle.


For more information, please contact:

Bianca Mońa


Bekie Ntini

Tel: (011) 834-1444