Fellowship will honour legendary photographer

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A new fellowship honouring photographer Santu Mofokeng will provide researchers, archivists, curators and students access to photography archives.

Santu Mofokeng
Santu Mofokeng

The fellowship will provide researchers, archivists, curators and students the infrastructural support and access to photography archives in the development of new narratives and content. The Santu Mofokeng Fellowship was announced last night at the Market Theatre when the 30-year old Market Photo Workshop was presented with the prestigious Prince Claus Award.

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Starting his career as a street artist, Santu Mofokeng went on to work as an assistant and then became a news photographer. Subsequently, he joined the Afrapix collective and went on to carve an international career that has won him glowing accolades which include the Ernest Cole Award (1991) and the Prince Claus Award (2009). The Fellowship created by the Market Photo Workshop will honour Santu Mofokeng’s photographic legacy.

“The Fellowship is an opportunity to continue Santu Mofokeng’s love, respect and contribution to the practice of photography in Africa and the world,” said Lekgetho Makola, head of the Market Photo Workshop.

The Santu Mofokeng Fellowship in Photography will provide an individual or collective with a grant to develop and complete a proposed work related to the photography archives and collection in collaboration with Market Photo Workshop.

“The outcome of the Fellowship shall be manifested in different forms which includes but not limited to published research-based books and journals, photography curriculum content, curated exhibition and academic based research,” added Lekgetho Makola.

Makola read the following statement from the Santu Mofokeng Family at the announcement last night: “The proposition to name the MPW Prince Claus funded fellowship after our beloved husband and father, Santu Mofokeng, in his lifetime is a great honour and affirming of his contribution and impact in this field of the arts.

“Thank you for inspiring the prospective recipients and thus enabling them to, in Ntate’s own words after receiving the Prince Claus award in 2009, help the recipients work ‘to gain prestige and recognition thus lending authority in one’s own field of expertise.’

“Thank you for acknowledging his lifetime sacrifices and achievements and cementing his legacy through the support and encouragement of the next generation of visual storytellers.

“We wish the recipient/s all the success.”

This Fellowship will run for the next two years funded by the Market Photo Workshop from the monetary prize received from the Prince Claus Award.

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