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Get Out More........................Photo Exhibition

SOUTH AFRICA - A BRIGHTER FLAME

05-03-2010

Hillbrow, Jo'burgh

Top Brummie photographer Pogus Caesar has an exhibition of photos from South Africa at Symphony Hall next month - and as usual it will be unmissable.

The exhibition,South Africa - A Brighter Flame will feature compelling images of street scenes from Caesar's visit to Johannesburg and Capetown in 2007. The photographs are shot in black and white, using available light on Caesar's trademark Canon Sure Shot camera.

The silver gelatin print collection, drawn from Caesar's OOM Gallery Archive, offers an evocative and unique window into daily life in South Africa.

Caesar's photographs includes portraits of the South African urban landscapes, ranging from Cape Town to Johannesburg - moving from the territorities of the townships to the framework of the city. Caesar's various photographic series are linked together by a conceptual framework of cultural portraiture. The "South Africa - A Brighter Flame" series continues his worldwide exploration of documentary photography and examines the historic significance of the new South Africa. These photographs, selected from over 700, capture a moment in African history and reveal not only its glory but also the aftermath which is not always revealed in the media.

Moving through the inner city neighbourhoods of Johannesburg - including Soweto home of the infamous uprisings in 1976 and the once 'whites only ' area of Hillbrow, to the former site of No 4 Prison on Constitution Hill, where past inmates have included Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela - Caesar kept his camera steadily focussed on the people he encountered.

Newtown, J'oburg

In Cape Town, with a backdrop of Table Mountain and home to an estimated 3.5 million people, Caesar witnessed a different landscape." I visited the winelands and saw many contrasting images. Although a seeminly gentler place with a beautiful energy I was acutely aware of underlying tensions that exist between the cultural classes" One particular photograph taken on Long Street showing a man with a badly disfigured face is particularly striking. Caesar says of this, "He was selling fake sunglasses, I approached him and we spoke for a moment, he said his name was Mr Sunglasses, I asked him to pose and he gave me a very proud stance".

Caesar is best known for his 35mm black and white photography and compelling montages, which he shoots on old Nikon and Canon Sure Shot cameras, purchased in the 1980's. Most of Caesar's UK photography is based around his home city of Birmingham and includes documenting well-known personalities such as Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu and Julie Christie.

Caesar has documented important events such as the Handsworth riots, the Birmingham tornado and the regeneration of the Bullring. Caesar has visited places as diverse as South Africa, Jamaica, America, Albania and India to photograph people and events.

Speaking about his inspiration for the exhibition South Africa - A Brighter Flame, Caesar said:"'The visit gave me the opportunity to document what I had only witnessed through the media it really opened my eyes and heart to the plight of the South Africa people and their courageous attempt to forge a better and brighter future for themselves and their country"'.

South Africa - A Brighter Flame will be open to the public with free admission from 20 April to 4 June.

Tuesday 20 APRIL - Friday 4 JUNE
Level 4 Foyer
Symphony Hall
Birmingham
United Kingdom

Free Admission
10am - 5pm, and open during evening concerts

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