David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt was a white man who had moved to South Africa to escape persecution of Lithuanian jews. In the late 1940’s he began photographing the daily lives of people in South Africa during a period of apartheid, which was legal segregation enforced by the Nationalist Party, who ruled with white minority. Goldblatt was privileged being white because of the racism during the time, but he was also a victim of religious persectution. He used this as motivation to document South Africa’s social and moral values. That said, his work was not meant to be shown in media or galleries (like most contemporary artists). He photographed everyday life of people living in chaos. His photos weren’t about the dramatic “decisive moment” though, they were about people trying to live normal, routine lives. His art wasn’t acknowledged then, but he is widely known since documentary photography changed. In Charlotte Cotton’s book, The photograph as contemporary art, Goldblatt is a noted photographer. He would fall under the category “Moments in history” because his photography documents the political changes of South Africa over the years.

Looking at the images below, you can tell he was interested in showing the relationships between different classes.

03 Holdup in Hillbrow smaller South African Photographs: David Goldblatt at the Jewish Museum

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