Since its inception in 2000 the Cape Town International Jazz Festival has included a world-class photographic exhibition as part of their visual arts mix.
This year, all exhibiting artists are women. And although they come from different geographical locations and different ages, each of them fought oppression, sexism and racism with the same passion as they plied their trade as photographers!
Tina Smith found herself teaching art at a high school on the Cape Flats in the midst of the student struggle in 1985. Typical of that period was the conflict between youth, teachers and the police force, which became an everyday occurrence.
It was during this period that she began to take photographs, discovering that documentary photography, and in particular photographing jazz musicians was a means to mediate the trauma of these experiences.
Francine Winham found work as an assistant to montage photographer David Attee, and later branched out on her own as a freelance photojournalist.
“New York was the heart of the jazz world at the time. You could go down to clubs like the Gate or the Village Vanguard and see all the great names performing live – Davis, Monk, Coltrane, Brubeck, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone – the list was endless.”
Away from the jazz clubs, 60s New York was a hotbed of political unrest: anti-war Demonstration’s in Central Park, civil rights marches in Harlem. Winham covered these event’s with her journalist boyfriend Jo Gumede. A former boxer forced to leave South Africa for his opposition to apartheid, Gumede introduced her to his circle of fellow South Africans living in exile, including musicians Hugh Masakela, Jonas Gwanga, and Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim) and Miriam Makeba.
Neo Ntsoma joined The Star, one of South Africa’s biggest daily newspapers, as staff photographer in 2000. Between 2002 and 2003 she was a tutor at Pathshala South Asian Institute of Photography in Bangladesh. She is the creative director of Neo Ntsoma Productions, a photo productions company specializing in music, dance theatre, fashion portraiture, film & television stills and reportage. Her work has been published in international publications such as The Washington Post, Time, and The London Telegraph, to mention a few.
Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre. Tel: 083 915 8000.
Time: Throughout the day
Duration: 30 - 31 Mar 2007