Transitions: South Africa

An exhibition of a collection from the Market Photo Workshop



19 April 2019

18h00 – 21h00

The Bronx Documentary Centre, New York City

Closing: 26 May 2019

Transitions: South Africa is an exhibition comprised of work produced by students, mentorship and fellowship recipients at the Market Photo Workshop from 2008 to 2018. The images presented in this exhibition aim to show the contemporary role of photography in South Africa and explore how photographers who studied at MPW view their communities and the society at large. This exhibition honours MPW’s three decades of photography, multimedia training programs, and public programming to help bring photography to the forefront of social consciousness in South Africa and around the world.

The selected images show the myriad of experiences of South African life over the selected 10-year period. From political unrest due to service delivery failure, student protests over the inherited, exclusivist tertiary education system and the contentious issue of land ownership in a country that is still grappling with over 350 years of colonialism and land dispossession. The daily life of both South Africans and nationals from the rest of the continent are revealed through the informal economic activities of individuals as they eke out a living within an economic climate of high unemployment rates. Through the faces of young South Africans, we see hope, joy and wonder for the future.

About the Market Photo Workshop

For thirty years, the Market Photo Workshop has played a pivotal role in the training of South Africa’s photographers, ensuring that visual literacy reaches neglected and marginalised parts of our society. World-renowned photographer, David Goldblatt contributed vastly to the establishment of Market Photo Workshop in 1988 – 1999. Since then, the Photo Workshop has been an agent of change and representation, informing photographers, visual artists, educators, students and broader communities of trends, issues, and debates in photography and visual culture.

The Market Photo Workshop also runs a number of Public Programmes, which are a series of events involving and directed at professional photographers, visual artists, educators, students as well as the broader public. These Public Programmes seek to inform the trends, practices, methods, and contemporary ways of working and thinking in South African photography practice through exposure to a broad understanding of visual culture as well as a networking platform that encourages critical thinking and engagements.

Showcasing a number of high profile local and international photographers, as well as student and alumni photography work, the Market Photo Workshop has been able to build a strong and consistent audience base around our gallery, ‘The Photo Workshop Gallery’ in Newtown, which is on the same premises as the school. Since 2005, when the gallery was initially launched, the kind of platform it has engendered encourages not only emerging students to experience and enter into professional practice, but has distilled a new type of photographic practice amongst the greater artistic community. Various critical discourses, especially around the role documentary photography, have been stimulated by the multitude of exhibitions that have shown at The Photo Workshop Gallery creating dynamic interactions between students and the greater photography community. In 2017, Market Photo Workshop relocated to its new state of art photography facility at Market Square premises by the Mary Fitzgerald Square.

About the Bronx Documentary Centre

The Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) is a non-profit gallery and educational space. Through exhibitions, screenings, and public programming, BDC shows the work of internationally-renowned and emerging photographers and filmmakers who are dealing with the themes that guide the BDC: justice, education, community-building, and positive social change. BDC provides free education programs for middle and high school students as well as a professional education program for historically underrepresented adult Bronx-based photographers. This program provides opportunities for professional development and skills training in photojournalism, filmmaking and documentary photography.

The Bronx Documentary Center is an accessible, community-oriented gallery and educational space located in Melrose, one of New York City’s fastest growingighborhoods. Melrose is the proud home to immigrants from around the globe, including many from the Caribbean, West Africa, Mexico, and South and Central America. To serve the Melrose community, the BDC opens up local discussions through film and photography and provides access to world-class exhibitions and screenings, all the while being fully rooted in the concerns and needs of Bronx residents. Additionally, the BDC not only employs Bronx residents, but also promotes educational programming that empowers its neighbors to tell their own stories. By carving out a unique arts space, the BDC seeks to encourage Bronx residents to participate in the vibrant culture of Melrose and beyond.

For more information, please contact:

Khona Dlamini

Manager: Programmes and Projects

T +27 (0) 11 834 1444


Market Photo Workshop

c/o Market Square

138 Lilian Ngoyi St

Entrance at Margaret Macingana Street



The Market Photo Workshop is a division of The Market Theatre Foundation.