South African Apartheid Documentary Exhibition

The Treason Trial 1956-61 (photo), The Sharpville Massacre 1960, the Soweto Uprising 1976… it is all in its immense brutality very well documented in ICP (International Center of Photography) in New York – runs until January 6 2013 – there are photos from the lives of the white oppressors and the black oppressed in Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, the title of the exhibition that “includes nearly 500 photographs, films, books, magazines, newspapers, and assorted archival documents and covers more than 60 years of powerful photographic and visual production that forms part of the historical record of South Africa.”

Nelson Mandela in a short interview with BBC in 1960, the last one before he was imprisoned for 27 years (1963-1990), we all know about it and have seen it before and yet it brings tears to the eyes to watch him walking hand in hand with Winnie after the release. There are many film and tv clips in this amazing exhibition, where – of course – the classic “Come Back Africa” by Lionel Rogosin (1959) is also to be seen, with wonderful Miriam Makeba. Martin Scorcese once said that it is “a film of terrible beauty”.

However, what the exhibition first of all does is what is stated on the site: (it..) proposes a complex understanding of photography and the aesthetic power of the documentary form and honors the exceptional achievement of South African photographers.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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