From a small village in Taung to Gambley, Sweden

Market Photo Workshop alumnus, Kegomoditswe Mohitlhi, is this year’s Gambley Photo Grant recipient. The grant allows her to travel to the Swedish village of Gambley, in Stockholm, on residency for a month.

The Gamleby Photo Grant, in partnership with Tjustbygdens Sparbank is a four-week long residency in the village of Gambley, Sweden. The recipient is offered free accommodation for the duration of their stay, access to camera equipment which is inclusive of printing and scanning access, as well as a stipend of 25 000 SEK (+/- R40 000). This stipend covers travel expenses to Sweden, a visa and insurance and the recipient will receive their balance on arrival.

Mohitlhi, who is from the small village of Taung, in the North West of South Africa – about 139km for the city of Kimberly, shared her excitement for the upcoming trip. We sat down with Mohitlhi as she told us a bit more about herself:

Why did you choose photography? The interest in photography came from the days before selfies were known as selfies. I would take pictures of myself, which my friends liked, and then they started wanting me to take pictures of them. I started seeing that I am actually good at taking pictures and wanted to future the path. I always had an interest in the arts; I tried drawing, styling and designing shoes but it was photography which had me more interested.

Why did you apply for the Gambley Photo Grant? One of my trainers Nina Barnnet was teaching us on how to put together a proposal and mentioned residencies that we could apply for. When she mentioned the Gambley Photo Grant, I thought to myself, this is a village and I am from a village – so it would be nice to see how a village from a different world looks like. It took me very long to submit because I was beginning to doubt myself. But after a while I finally submitted with little faith that I would even win.

What was your reaction when you found out you going to Sweden? I was shocked! Even getting an email saying that I was shortlisted was shocking. I thought to myself that I don’t even have a passport, so who am I to think I can go to Sweden.

What do you plan on doing when you get to Sweden? I want to site-see. The grant mentions that we can hang around students from there, sit in on lectures, talks and exhibitions. I want to see how photography is taught that side, see the village and explore how different it is from here. Maybe even develop a body of work from what I discover.

As the Market Photo Workshop we would like to wish Mohitlhi all the best on her trip. May this be the beginning of many more great opportunities for her.