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David Goldblatt in "Johannesburg"

Considered the dean of South African photography, David Goldblatt’s near-six-decade-long career chronicled and critiqued the country’s tumultuous modern history. Interspersed with scenes of Goldblatt touring the sites of past and current photographs, this segment surveys the artist’s extensive body of work; his earliest projects captured the desperate lives of African gold miners and critically probed white Afrikaner privilege and his more recent series examined the country’s changing politics through the evolution of its architectural structures. Goldblatt’s work is a testament to the power of photography as a means of social criticism. This segment was filmed and edited in the months prior to Goldblatt’s passing in June 2018.

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt was born in Randfontein, South Africa, in 1930. Since the early 1960s up until his passing in 2018, Goldblatt photographed the people, landscapes, and architectural structures of South Africa, using photography as a means of social criticism. Chronicling South Africa during apartheid, Goldblatt’s powerful monochrome photographs reveal the stark contrast between the lives of Blacks and Whites as well as the ways that public structures have manifested the citizens’ self-image.

“A common response from potential publishers was ‘where’s the apartheid?’ To me, it was embedded deep, deep, deep in the grain of those photographs.”

David Goldblatt