Santu Mofokeng

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Santu Mofokeng (1956) is a South African news photographer[1] who works under the alias Mofokengâ. Mofokeng is a member of the Afrapix collective and has won a Prince Claus Award.[2]


Mofokeng was born in 1956 in Soweto, Johannesburg. While still a teenager, he began his career as a street photographer, went on to work as an assistant in a darkroom, and then he became a news photographer. Subsequently, he joined the collective Afrapix; he works under the alias Mofokengâ. Initially he documented mainly the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.[2]

Mofokeng is known to be able to rearrange conventional subjection in a photographic presentation with a spiritual dimension; an example of this is Chasing Shadows from 1997.[citation needed] After starting off with street and news photography, he specialized in landscapes. In his images he presents them in relation to ownership, power, ecological effects and memory, but avoids an open political expression. His work shows his deep concern for the condition of the (biophysical) environment at the beginning of the 21st century.[3][4][5]

At his exhibition Let's Talk in 2010, he explained that the essence is not what you see in these photographs, but what you don't see (but feel).[6]

Publications with contributions by Mofokeng[edit]

  • Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography. Göttingen: Steidl; London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2011. ISBN 9783869302669; ISBN 9783869303062. Photographs by Jodi Bieber, Kudzanai Chiurai, Hasan and Husain Essop, David Goldblatt, Pieter Hugo, Terry Kurgan, Sabelo Mlangeni, Santu Mofokeng, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Zanele Muholi, Jo Ractliffe, Berni Searle, Mikhael Subotzky, Guy Tillim, Nontsikelelo Veleko, Graeme Williams, and Roelof van Wyk.

Solo exhibitions[edit]



  1. ^ Gevisser, Mark (23 April 2011). "Figures & Fictions at the V&A". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Prince Claus Fund (2009) biography
  3. ^ Luirink, Bart (10 April 2010) blog, ZAM Africa Magazine (in Dutch)
  4. ^ Cargo Collective, biography
  5. ^ Cargo Collective, Chasing Shadows
  6. ^ Teeffelen, Walter van (2010) biography (in Dutch)
  7. ^ De Buren, hasing Shadows. Santu Mofokeng, Thirty Years of Photographic Essays (in Dutch)