Highly promising and talented Soweto-born South African photographer Thabiso Sekgala passed away on October 15th, 2014.
The receiver of a number of awards, grants and special recognitions, Sekgala began showcasing his work in 2009 after participating in Johannesburg’s Market Photo Workshop. Not only was he part of a new crop of young black South African photographers carving out an important space for themselves in post-apartheid South Africa, Sekgala was incredibly conscious of the relationship between history, environment and representation.
His first solo exhibition in 2011 consisted of photos taken in South Africa as part of his Homelands series. Intrigued by the feeling of ‘belonging’ linked to these geographic areas constructed by the apartheid government, Sekgala photographed peripheral communities - especially youth, in the former KwaNdebele and Bophuthatswan homelands to visually document the fading and abandonment of these landscapes.
Throughout his career, Sekgala carried with him this sense of responsibility towards exploring the links between community, identity, memory and the spaces we create in our societies as highlighted in his Running series.
“Regardless of where we are, when I make a portrait, it all starts with respect. When I am approaching people to photograph, I approach them as Thabiso Sekgala, as myself first. Then I am a photographer. I always try to portray people in a very dignified way.” - Thabiso Sekgala (1981 - 2014).
The Goodman Gallery, who Sekgala was represented by, will be hosting a memorial service for the late photographer at Market Photo Workshop or Thursday 23 Oct at 13h00.