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Svea Josephy is an Associate Professor in Fine Art (Photography) at Michaelis. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (in Fine Art) at UCT and completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Studies from the University of Wales. Josephy has held a number of exhibitions of her creative work, nationally and internationally. Her work has been included in numerous international group exhibitions such as Crossing Boundaries: Contemporary Art and Artists from South Africa in Qatar, Format International Photography Festival: Photocinema, United Kingdom, Chobi Mela V International Festival of Photography, Bangladesh, The Position of South African Photography – Today, Germany, Shuttle 99, Finland and DAKART 2010 9th Biennial of Contemporary African Art, Senegal, where she was a prize winner in 2010. Josephy’s work is held in numerous collections locally and internationally.
Josephy’s research interests include Southern African Photography, documentary photography, contemporary art, contemporary South African lens based practice and colonial photography. Her writing on these areas has been published in various books, journals and catalogues on contemporary art and photography. Josephy’s research is concerned with the politics of post apartheid photography, particularly as it connects to the politics of the land and its representation in relation to identity. Her research has followed a history of South African photography, focussing initially on the documentary imperative and ‘struggle’ photography and tracing this back through colonialist and modernist photography. Her current research is concerned with demonstrating shifts in photography, which have taken place in a post apartheid context. She is interested in ‘new documentary’ forms that have emerged in post apartheid South Africa, in particular those which relate to the representation of the land and structures. Her work as a producer of visual research is concerned with locating herself within this paradigm. She is interested in the land and how it is constructed, how one constructs the land when one photographs it, and how through naming one constructs the land.
In recent years she has been working on a series of exhibitions of photographs, which look at parallels in the naming of ‘twin towns’ in South Africa and other parts of the world. Initially focused on a colonial past these photographs have more recently connected different locations, in South Africa and abroad, as sites of struggle, and of war, liberation and reconciliation.
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Michaelis School of Fine Art
University of Cape Town
31 -37 Orange Street Gardens
8001 Cape Town
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