Afro Argentina

A multi-media exhibition by Argentine visual artist, Gaby Messina


(16 October – 30 November 2019)


16 October 2019


Market Photo Workshop Gallery 1989

Gaby Messina to be in conversation with photographer, Salym Fayad

The Market Photo Workshop together with the Argentine Embassy presents the multi-media exhibition, Afro Argentina by Gaby Messina. Messina reflects on the politics of Afro-Argentine visibility based on her personal experiences and the testimonies of this community whose history and current socio-economic status struggles to appear within contemporary Argentine society. Global complexities of the African diaspora are situated here within the South American context, which still grapples with questions of trauma and memory, racism, and the legacies of authoritarian regimes. Messina’s exhibition arrives in Johannesburg in the wake of a recent outbreak of xenophobic violence. The Market Photo Workshop welcomes Afro Argentina as a necessary intervention into critically reflecting on what it means to be of African-descent both locally and in a country like Argentina, not associated with African history or precarity.

This exhibition is part of the Market Photo Workshop’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations “The Homecoming 30”

About Gaby Messina

Gaby Messina (1971-) was born in Martinez, in the province of Buenos Aires, where she is based as a visual artist. Since 2004, Messina has exhibited widely in Buenos Aires and is the author of five books and her work has been included in publications such as A History of Women Photographers, New York, N. Rosenblum, Abbeville Press, 2006 and “Urban Photography in Argentina: Nine Artists of the Post-Dictatorship Era” by David Foster, USA, 2008. Messina has won a number of awards since 2006 and has been exhibited internationally with the World Bank, Washington; the Houston Center for Photography, USA; and Gallery of Photography, Dublin. In addition to cities like Basel, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Medellin and Lima. Her works are part of the collection of the Museo de Arte Moderno, MALBA Museo de Arte Latinoamericano and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires.

About the Market Photo Workshop

For 30 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 marginalized 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 2016, Market Photo Workshop relocated to its new state of art photography facility at Market Square premises by the Mary Fitzgerald Square.


Market Photo Workshop is the recipient of The Principal Prince Claus Award 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Candice Jansen

Research and Exhibitions Programming Manager

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.