© Siseko Mkita, Langa 2011
One of our first studio days at FPS! It was exciting to see the space bustling with people. The photographers piled on top of computers to debate which photos to choose for the Langa exhibition. At the end we did a final slideshow that had some serious work in it.
Top: Wandile is one of our new photographers. Bottom: Lindeka (one of our veterans) shooting in Langa during photo weekend
Iliso Labantu’s photo weekend in Langa went really well last week. Langa is the oldest township in Cape Town and has a really dynamic feel to it. There were some great photo opportunities such as the old dark hostels, pet tortoises, endless chicken vendor activities, a handmade bridge, and all the shacks in between.
We set up our editing base in a little room behind a community center and sent 12 photographers out with local guides to shoot for 2 days. They would sporadically come in and out to download/edit photos with our volunteers, charge batteries, and get their peanut butter jelly fill. Even a ginger loaf! We also brought in a few new photographers who ended up doing great work. We will be setting up an exhibition next Saturday outside the post office in Langa to thank participating community members. These exhibitions usually turn out quite well because they both exhibit the great work of our photographers as well as display different perspectives that locals may not often see.
This was the first photo weekend that I was able to help out with and I left so impressed with how it went. The level of comfort and welcomeness between the community and our photographers was something that i’ve NEVER experienced while shooting.
We are currently recruiting more photographers in hope of creating a fresh, tight-knit, and dynamic group of visual story-tellers. We will be taking on the big challenge of finding ‘unknown’ yet talented photographers, so please let us know if you have any leads.
Also THANKS to Dave Southwood (who will also be working with us) for designing the very flashy flyer.
A huge thank you to the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust who made it possible for me to work on developing FOTO Project Space. FOTO Project Space is a collaboration between myself and Iliso Labantu. I feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity and am very excited to see where it goes.
FOTO Project Space (FPS) is an artist-run space in Woodstock (Cape Town, South Africa) that serves as a shared studio, classroom, and exhibition space for disadvantaged self-taught photographers from surrounding townships. The mission of FPS is to act as a platform for developing the work and careers of these photographers by holding workshops, exhibiting their work, and connecting them with local and international creative industries.
We recently got a space at the Woodstock Industrial Center (WIC), an amazing environment and community for creatives. For the next few weeks we will be preparing the space and bringing in more photographers to our current group.
Also thanks to Alistair Berg & Sue Johnson from Iliso Labantu for letting me work together with them on this. AND another thanks to everyone else who has supported the project in various ways!