South African photographer Santu Mofokeng (b. 1956) famously documented daily life during and after apartheid. Foam presents a large-scale retrospective, containing a selection of his most important visual essays and featuring many unpublished works from the artist’s private archives.
The exhibition Santu Mofokeng – Stories brings together a number of important photographic essays by Mofokeng made in his native South Africa. Amongst the series on show is his first and most celebrated visual essay Train Church (1986), portraying the spontaneous religious rituals that occurred on the Soweto-Johannesburg commuter train. Other (many yet unknown) images portray life in the townships of Soweto and Dukathole; political protests leading up to the abolition of apartheid, and the historic election of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Together, the series narrates how the rapidly changing political climate in South Africa affected daily life across the country. Raised in the township of Soweto, Mofokeng photographed South African communities from the inside, painting a nuanced and dynamic portrait of a complex society in transition.
Installation shot, 2019 © Christian van der Kooy
The exhibition Santu Mofokeng – Stories was created in collaboration with Joshua Chuang. Courtesy of Santu Mofokeng and Lunetta Bartz, MAKER. Foam thanks Steidl Verlag for their advice and involvement.
Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Gemeente Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.