On the 25th anniversary of the end of apartheid, this exhibition of Steve Bloom’s photographs from the mid 1970s captures a critical moment in the history of South Africa.
1976 was a pivotal year. The first real cracks in the apartheid system of racial segregation appeared when black school children took to the streets to protest against new laws, which had been introduced to reinforce an inferior education system. The authorities struck back ruthlessly, killing and wounding many defenceless children.
It was a time of realisation – the beginning of the end of white complacency and black defeatism. Bloom’s work in apartheid South Africa, poignant and moving, reveals the alienation of a country on the cusp of change, placing Bloom among the select few photographers who caught the mood of the time.
Bloom took to the streets and the townships, photographing people in this pivotal historical moment. In his images, he manages to capture the complex emotional essence of the moment South Africa began to experience unstoppable, real dissent.