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Lindokuhle Sobekwa | Heart of the garden

27 March - 08 May 2024
Goodman Gallery, London

South African photographer Lindokuhle Sobekwa’s first solo presentation in London titled ‘Heart of the garden’ explores the multiplicity of place and identity. This new body of work reflects on the lingering effects of Apartheid with reference to his family history and his ancestral home in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

‘This story behind this body of work was motivated by an earlier project, ‘I carry Her photo with Me’, which is about the disappearance of my sister Ziyanda. As part of that project, I traced her footprints back to the Eastern Cape, exploring her earlier life in Tsomo and the surrounding area. Through this process I was able to reconnect with family and uncover a wider sense of my identity. However, I realised that this was also a place that I know very little about.’ – Lindokuhle Sobekwa, 2024

The presentation includes work from Sobekwa’s series Ezilalini (The country) which offers a reflection on the division between the rural and urban areas structured by Apartheid spatial planning; a deliberate system that still affects family structures and economic access today. This division is represented through his photographic journey from his birthplace Katlehong – a large township in the south-east of Johannesburg – to where his grandmother lives in Tsomo in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. The work unpacks the complex sense of spiritual longing and desire to reconcile psychogeographic dislocation that comes from being in a place where one exists out of forced familial fragmentation and systemic dispossession.



Lindokuhle Sobekwa 

Lindokuhle Sobekwa

Lindokuhle Sobekwa is a South African photographer born in in 1995 in Katlehong, Johannesburg. He was introduced to photography in 2012 through the Of Soul and Joy Project in Buhlebuzile high school in Thokoza township, where his photography mentors included Bieke Depoorter, Cyprien Clément-Delmas, Thabiso Sekgala, Tjorven Bruyneel and Kutlwano Moagi.

In 2013 Sobekwa joined Live Magazine as a part-time photographer in 2013. In subsequent years he exhibited work at Kalashnikovv Gallery in South Africa and with No Man’s Art Gallery in from the Netherlands and in their pop-up exhibitions in South Africa, Iran, and Norway. In the past year his work has been shown internationally at Paris Photo by both Goodman Gallery and Magnin-A gallery.

Sobekwa’s breakout photo series Nyaope: ‘Everything you do my Boss, will do’ was published in the Mail & Guardian (South Africa) in 2014 and his work was featured in Vice magazine and the Standaard in the same year. He completed the foundation course at Market Photo Workshop and in 2017, Sobekwa was selected by the Magnum Foundation as a fellow in the renowned Photography and Social Justice program. This is where he developed the project I carry Her photo with Me, a photographic search for answers about the disappearance of his sister Ziyanda. A journal created during this time was turned into a hand-made limited edition photo book and exhibited in the African Cosmologies exhibition, curated by Mark Sealy, at the Houston Fotofest in March 2020.

In 2018, Sobekwa was awarded a grant from the Magnum Foundation Fund to continue with his long term project Nyaope. He is also currently working on a collaborative project with French Photographer Cyprien Clément-Delmas about the community of Daleside in South Africa. This series will be published by Gost in 2021 and has been supported by the Rubis Mécénat Foundation.

Sobekwa joined Magnum Photos in 2018 and became an associate member in 2020. He participates in a variety of photography related activities with the agency, including assignments in Kenya and South Africa, as well as giving lectures about his work and photography in South Africa for audiences in various European and American cities.

Sobekwa continues to live and work in Thokoza.

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