The London Festival of Photography: Beneath the Surface - Steve Bloom

1976 was a critical year in the history of South Africa. The first real cracks in the apartheid system of racial segregation appeared when black school children took to the streets to protest against new laws, which had been introduced to reinforce an inferior education system. The authorities struck back ruthlessly, killing and wounding many defenceless children in what became known as the Soweto Uprising. The Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), led by Steve Biko, was an influential force in motivating these scholars.

Internationally acclaimed photographer Steve Bloom took to the streets and the townships, photographing people in this pivotal historical moment. Some of the pictures, edgy and fleeting, capture the tension of the time. Others, such as the portraits of down-and-outs, show the utter despair of people under apartheid. In his images, Bloom manages to capture the complex emotional essence of the moment South Africa began to experience unstoppable, real dissent.

In 1977 (in the same week that Steve Biko was murdered by security police in South Africa) Steve Bloom travelled to London where, soon after, the International Defense and Aid Fund for South Africa exhibited these photographs internationally.

Consequently, he was exiled from South Africa and would not return for another thirteenteen years. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Steve Biko’s death and likewise Bloom’s images, not seen for decades, which provide a timely reminder of this troubled but important period of South Africa’s history in an exhibition at the Guardian Gallery.

Steve Bloom will deliver a lecture to accompany the exhibition and Peter Hain MPwill give remarks to contextualise the exhibition and this year’s commemoration of the 35th anniversary of Steve Biko’s death.

A Special Lecture: Beneath the Surface

Date: 11 June
Venue: Guardian Gallery (Kings Place)
Address: Guardian News and Media,
Kings Place, 90 York way, London, N1
Time: 7pm
Cost: £12.50

The exhibition will run from 1 – 28 June 2012; opening times are 10am - 6pm, 7 days

Share this:



Post a comment