Cape Town - The work of acclaimed photojournalist and activist Rashid Lombard has found a new home at UWC.
The archival collection, which will offer expanded perspectives on the everyday cultural and political life of the Cape Flats, will consist of a vast photographic record of the area’s history from the 1960s onwards, as well as documentation of the history of jazz in South Africa.
The project is a multi-partnership between the national Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, the University of the Western Cape, and Lombard.
Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said the importance of the project was to ensure global access to the archives to scholars and the public.
“The act of photography on the continent is contextualised by the prevailing social, cultural and political realities. The project will use case studies that visually narrate alternative perceptions of the significant aesthetic dynamics.
“It is also to incubate and develop new talent and ideas on matters of heritage and culture,” Mthethwa said.
UWC director of Institutional Advancement, Professor Anesh Maniraj Singh, said archives were extremely important for universities and for society at large as they captured history, which was the seeds of tomorrow.
“We have to understand where we come from for us to appreciate where we are going.
“As Rashid and Minister Mthethwa said, these pictures that have been donated to the university certainly creates and captures what the past was, and it gives us an indication of where we are going,” he said.
Lombard said a large number of heritage resources were non-digitised and that there was little hope of that happening.
“Art archiving is critical. We will firstly, with the university, have digital masters, then out of that they can do programme ground education, entertainment around art culture,” he said.
“But I think the important thing is access to the university to younger people and access in various forms. The easiest is social media and cell phones. I’m extremely excited that my archives will be on campus.”