Boy playing with a homemade guitar, NIIharul’an, Bushmanland, Namibia, 1987
Thursday 11 May 2017
David Krut Projects Cape Town (DKCT) was delighted to host the launch of the photographer and curator, Paul Weinberg’s latest photographic book, “Traces and Tracks”. This book is published by Jacana Media.
‘Paul Weinberg has over the past 30 years sought to work against an essentialised, mythologised view of the San. For those who have grappled with the story of the modern San, it is neither monolythic nor one dimensional. His extensive and in-depth journey has brought him into contact with a range of exceptional San activists throughout the region who continue to fight for their land rights. He has encountered a broad family of NGO activists, development workers, journalists, filmmakers and academics who work with the San. Like him they have grappled to answer questions about their fragile culture and have also attempted to tell and share their accounts. The 113 000 San live in three different countries and speak many different languages. While dispossession seems to be a common thread, the story of the San, differs from region to region, place to place, community to community. This book engages with San communities throughout southern Africa and documents how recent chapters of history present new challenges and opportunities for Africa’s first people.’
During this book launch Weinberg was in discussion with the University of Cape Town (UCT) lecturer and visual anthropologist, Kharnita Mohamed.
An audience of 65 people attended the event that included academics, members of the public, students and members from the !Khwa ttu San Centre on the West Coast of South Africa.
Pertinent topics that were discussed included the archiving of photographs, especially with the transition from analogue to digital formats of photography. The vast number of photographs that were previously inaccessible can now be viewed online. In 2015 during the launch of ‘The Soho Chronicles: 10 Films by William Kentridge’, the artist also spoke in detail at the alteration of many of his films that were originally recorded in the analogue format but with the development of digital film-making has radically changed the process of filming. Paul Weinberg also spoke to the sensitivity towards approaching photography, especially with regards to the photographing of people as opposed to landscapes.
A vibrant audience discussion ensued in which members of the audience reflected on the removal of South Africans from their homes and the resulting effects of relocation. This included the suburb of ‘Newlands’, where DKCT is situated. Questions were asked about people who were previously living in this part of Cape Town who were displaced to other parts of the city.
Thank you to Solms Delta Winery for their sponsorship of Shiraz and Chenin Blanc wines and to the Avenue Café for their catering of samoosas towards this event.