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George Hallett Featured on Mail and Guardian‘s List of 16 Significant South African Photographers

Moving in TimeGeorge Hallet, photographer and author of Moving in Time: Images of Life in a Democratic South Africa, has been honoured by Mail & Guardian as one of the country’s “finest living black photographers”.

Hallett was included on the list of 16 significant South African photographers.

“Some of South Africa’s most recognisable images have been captured by Cape Town-born photographer Hallett. And some of the country’s most famous art masters too, such as Dumile Feni and Gerard Sekoto,” writes Stefanie Jason, daughter of equally famous photographer Fanie Jason.

She quotes a review of an exhibit of Hallett’s work: “Like Baudelaire, the French 19th-century poet-alchemist who transmuted the banal, the sordid and the prosaic of quotidian street life in Paris into a thing of rare lyrical beauty in his collection Les Fleurs du Mal, Hallett is the street photographer par excellence who captures beauty, joy and resilience in his predominantly working-class … subjects.”

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Despite South Africa’s wide range of talented and diverse photographers, a recent Flavorwire article titled “10 Essential African-American Photographers” has inspired this list of essential black South African photographers who are alive and constantly grasp our attention with their arresting images.

In a 2010 public lecture given by my father, photographer Fanie Jason, at University Park in Pennsylvania, he said, “In South Africa, no one speaks about blacks’ photography”, so to do just that – talk about black South African photographers – I’ve roped in award-winning photographer Zanele Muholi to give us her top three photographers, and renowned Mail & Guardian photographer Oupa Nkosi, who shares five of his favourite photographers.

There are certainly more than 16 great black South African photographers that should be on this list, such as Nontsikelelo Veleko, Rashid Lombard, Peter McKenzie, Benny Gool, and more, whose documentation of the South African experience – here and abroad – will forever be a part of the country’s cultural identity. But due to time and space constraints, we’ve stuck to 16.

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