David Goldblatt / Fietas

About

David Goldblatt has been photographing and documenting South African society for over 50 years. Born in Randfontein in 1930 to parents who came to South Africa to escape the persecution of Lithuanian Jews in 1890, he was simultaneously part of privileged white society and a victim of religious persecution and alienation. Motivated by his contradictory position in South African society, Goldblatt began photographing this society, and in 1963 decided to devote all of this time to photography.

Goldblatt focuses on critical explorations of South African society. While he uses photography as a means of accessing and exploring people and societies, David Goldblatt is acutely aware of the ethics of photography, and has used the camera as a way of capturing the complexities and intricacies of the specific conditions and situations that he photographs. His photographs are neither propaganda nor violently provocative, but rather become far more complex, meditative documents that are open to interpretation and that permeate far more deeply, and for longer than the initial shock and violence associated with documentary and news photography.

David Goldblatt

  • The Modi's daughter in their shop before its destruction under the Group Areas Act, Fietas

    David Goldblatt

    The Modi's daughter in their shop before its destruction under the Group Areas Act, Fietas, January 1977

    Silver Gelatin

  • Listening to the cricket commentary on a Saturday afternoon, before the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act

    David Goldblatt

    Listening to the cricket commentary on a Saturday afternoon, before the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act , January 1977

    Siv...

  • David Goldblatt

    Hassimia Sahib's "Republic Islamic Butchery" before its destruction under the Group Areas Act, Fietas (4_2386), April 1977

    Silver Gelatin<...

  • During the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act: Trading by a white man where Modi's shop used to be

    David Goldblatt

    During the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act: Trading by a white man where Modi's shop used to be, 1982

    Silver Gelatin

    <...
  • Zulu woman salvaging bricks for a white contractor from Indians' houses demolished under the Group Areas Act, Fietas

    David Goldblatt

    Zulu woman salvaging bricks for a white contractor from Indians' houses demolished under the Group Areas Act, Fietas, 1982

    Silver Gelatin<...

  • Ozzie Docrat's shop after its forced closure under the Group Areas Act, Fietas

    David Goldblatt

    Ozzie Docrat's shop after its forced closure under the Group Areas Act, Fietas, April 1977

    Silver Gelatin

  • The Madrasah, 23 Street, Fietas

    David Goldblatt

    The Madrasah, 23 Street, Fietas, May 1977

    Silver Gelatin

  • The butchery of Hassimia Sahib, who resisted forced removal, with new housing for whites, during the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act

    David Goldblatt

    The butchery of Hassimia Sahib, who resisted forced removal, with new housing for whites, during the destruction of Fietas under the Group Areas Act