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Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography

About the Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography

The Family & Friends of Gisèle Wulfsohn asked the Market Photo Workshop to establish the Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography in 2012. The mentorship was launched to provide emerging photographers the infrastructural support to develop a body of work; and, also, honour Gisèle’s memory and her work; and is seen as an opportunity to continue her approach and interests in photography. Gisèle dedicated her life and photography to awareness, openness and respect; she worked on issues of democracy, HIV/AIDS education and positive identities, social inclusion, gender issues and women’s rights, and maintained a commitment to education and social change.

The Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography’s over-arching concept is the creation of a platform and opportunity for emerging photographers to build a substantial body of work with a view to assisting them in the establishment of a professional career within the field of photography.  The Mentorship provides the successful applicant with the financial support necessary to research and produce a body of photographic work, in consultation with a mentor and seasoned experts, over a period of a year.

Based on successful production of a new body of work by the recipient and availability of funds, the mentorship grant can be extended to develop and produce an exhibition of the work, and possibly a publication.

The mentorship process includes regular critique and feedback sessions with recipient and professional photographers. This enables support for the recipient in the development of the photography project and establishment of a professional career within the field of photography.

The Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography builds on other Market Photo Workshop platforms geared towards a South Africa where photography plays an important part in the development of careers and the development of photography.

Sydelle Willow Smith, the first recipient of The Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography exhibited her body of work, Soft Walls in 2014. Smith was mentored by Dave Southwood. For more on her body of work click here.

The 2014 Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography recipient, Siphosihle Mkhwanazi’s The Usual Suspect is exhibited at The Photo Workshop Gallery. Mkhwanazi was mentored by renowned South African photographer and 2010 World Press Photo of the Year winner, Jodi Bieber. For more on his body of work click here

The 2015 Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography recipient, Phumzile Khanyile exhibited her work, Plastic Crowns in 2017. Khanyile will be mentored by American artist Ayana V. Jackson. click here

The 2019 Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography recipient, Thembinkosi Reginald Hlatshwayo exhibited his work, Slaghuis II in 2020. Thembinkosi was mentored by John Fleetwood: a photography curator, educator and director of Photo: and former head of Market Photo Workshop from 2002-2015. For more on Hlatshwayo click here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of:

Lindy & Neville Per
Kathy Satchwell
Steven Friedman
Melinda Silverman & Irwin Manoim
Barry Dwolatsky & Rina King
Carrie Raphaely
Joanne Abbott
Philip & Paola Wulfsohn
Ian Margo
Lesley Cohen
Susan Lazarus
Norman Manoim
Louise Gubb
Derek & Janet Lubner and friends
Janine Simon & Jeffrey Meyer
Steve Plant
Kate MacDonagh & Terry Herron
Anne Day
Colin Shapiro
Barbara Ludman
Harriet Griffey
Sandy Shoolman
Lorien Gimpel
Gillian Findlay
Emilia Potenza
Lael Bethlehem
Tanya Zack
Martine Johnson & Francis Turpin
Penny Plowman
Jeff & Laura Jankelson
Robyn Solomon
Terry Zoeller
Richard & Madge Wulfsohn
Laura Sive
Trevor Moross
Diane & Scott Saulson
Raelle Saulson
Aliya Saulson
Jack Shanahan
Miriam Freedman
Tip Weineger
Sue Grant-Marshall
Sydelle Willow-Smith
Lauren Segal

About Gisèle Wulfsohn

Born in Johannesburg, Gisèle Wulfsohn (1957 – 2011) was a Johannesburg-based freelance photographer specialising in portraiture, education, health and gender issues.

She studied Graphic Fine Art at the Johannesburg College of Art (1975-1977). She began her photography career as a darkroom assistant at The Star newspaper in 1979.  After working as a staff photographer at The Star for 4 years she moved into magazine work –she was in-house photographer for Style Magazine and briefly chief photographer of Leadership Magazine.  In the mid-eighties she joined AFRAPIX, a photographic agency that documented social issues around the anti-apartheid struggle.  She subsequently went freelance.

From the late 1980s she documented various HIV/AIDS awareness issues and initiated the Living Openly project in 2000, which has been exhibited extensively (portraits and interviews with 31 HIV Positive South Africans).  Through CADRE she researched and photographed 12 South African families affected and infected by HIV/AIDS – the project called “Conversations” was published in 2006 as a booklet for free distribution at health clinics.


In 2006/2007 Gisèle’s Malibongwe portraits of women leaders and anti-apartheid activists in South Africa was exhibited at the Apartheid Museum, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Parliament in Cape Town, the Slave Lodge in Cape Town in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Women’s march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956.

Her features and portraits have been published internationally in publications such as Der Spiegel, Marie Claire (UK, Germany, Poland, Hong Kong), The Lancet, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, The Economist and The Christian Science Monitor.  Locally her work has appeared in magazines such as MarieClaire, Femina, Fairlady, Leadership and Sawubona.  She worked for various NGOs such as the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Mindset, NBI (National Business Initiative), ACTIONAID UK and Oxfam UK.  She also produced portraits of 7 Constitutional Court Judges, which are displayed in the public art area of the court.

Gisele died in December 2011 from cancer. She is survived by her husband Mark Turpin and twin sons Samuel and Joseph.


AN END TO WAITING – The story of South Africa’s Election 1994 – published by the Independent Electoral Commission (contributing photographer)
THE SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN’S HEALTH BOOK – Oxford University Press 1996 (picture editor/contributing photographer)
CUTTING THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN  – Interviews with South African Jewish Activists – published by Viking 1997 (contributing photographer)
ONE CHILD ONE SEED – A children’s counting book -Frances Lincoln UK 2000 (photography)
BONGANI’S DAY – A Day in the Life of South African Child – Frances Lincoln UK 2002 (text and photography)
WAITING TO HAPPEN –HIV/AIDS in South Africa – Walker, Reid, Cornell.  Published by Double Storey 2004 (contributing photographer)
MOVING IN TIME –Images of Life in a Democratic South Africa 2004(contributor)
CHARACTER EDUCATION – series of 11 books published by Awareness Publishing 2005 (picture editor/contributor)
THEN & NOW –  8 South African photographers –Highveld Press 2007 (contributor)

Solo Exhibitions

Living Openly. Bat Centre, Durban, July 2000
Malibongwe – Let us Praise the Women. Apartheid Museum October 2006/Nelson Mandela Foundation/Parliament Cape Town/ Slave Lodge Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions

Living Openly. Bonanai Africa, Museum Afrika, 2002
SA Women’s Projects. Bonani Africa, Museum Afrika 2002
The Fatherhood Project. Museum Afrika 2004
Then & Now. travelling exhibition SA/Europe/ USA/Australia 2007

Gisèle’s work hangs in various corporate and private collections in South Africa, the USA, Australia, UK and Holland

Bekie Ntini
Coordinator: Mentorships and Training
T +27 (0) 11 834 1444

© Lebohang Kganye,
Pied Piper, 2012.
From the series Ke lefa laka
© Siphosihle Mkwanazi.
From the series ‘The Usual Suspect’