Mack Magagane is a young South African photographer emerging from the Market Photo Workshop, which has played a big role in training photographers here, ensuring that visual literacy reaches neglected and marginalised parts of society. The school was founded by photographer David Goldblatt in 1989.
Mack and I meet at Stevenson Gallery in Johannesburg, where he shows some of his work of the inner city. The photographer explains how he first braved the night, shooting with a tripod from city rooftops, creating a body of work called “Light Hours.” He then decided to get down on the ground, hurrying along (for safety reasons) almost snatching precious and elusive moments, to photograph “… in this city”.
Compared to a previous generation of photographers who dealt with legacy issues of Apartheid, Mack says he feels free to use photography purely for the sake of artistic expression.
“Photography has really kind of moved into other realms. I’d say, it’s actually really changed. We live in a democratic country, yes. It’s freedom, freedom of expression also. I can pick up a camera and decide on a little story I want to tell, deciding on a certain subject, or subject matter, and actually tell it as how I want to.
“… In that era of Apartheid, you couldn’t really give a certain viewpoint of something and you couldn’t really have freedom of expression, as your freedom had already been taken from you,” Mack says in the video interview on PhotographyAndDemocracy.com
If the video loads slowly, or ‘hangs,’ click the HD symbol in the play bar and change it to SD.