Understanding and interpreting South Africa through the eyes of her photographers

French Institute Seminars in Humanities (FISH)
7 May 2015

14:00 – IFAS Conference Room, 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein


Nathalie Jara

In order to understand contemporary South Africa, people working on representation allow envisaging the aesthetic way of photography as a space of projection and personal narration. Between subjectivity and objectivity, politics and poetics, photographers’ perceptions appear as a production of senses on societal realities. From a fieldwork research, interviews and observations, my communication proposes to consider photographers’ work and reflections, of different generations, who choose a discourse and an activity through image. Through their eyes, it is contemporary subjects that are approached as history, memory, membership, nostalgia, intimate life, everyday life, creativities, hopes and place in the world. Reflections of photographers allow a relationship between a symbolic, a lived and a pictorial South Africa.


Nathalie Jara is preparing a PhD thesis in Social Anthropology and Ethnology at IMAF (Institut des mondes africains) – EHESS (Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales), in Paris. Her research has been supported by The French Institute of South Africa since 2014.