David Goldblatt

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David Goldblatt (29 November 1930 – 25 June 2018) was a South African photographer.


  • I often wished during those years that I could be a lyricist with a camera. [...] I took great delight in [Edward Weston's] and many other photographers’ work. I envied them the freedom to photograph a landscape apparently without concern for the implications of its possession.
  • ...photographers shouldn’t confuse their response to the politics of the country with their role as photographers.
  • During those years color seemed too sweet a medium to express the anger, disgust and fear that apartheid inspired, ...
  • I’m a plodder. If you look back at my work, it’s a straight-line graph with a few bumps. I’ve been doing the same thing for 60 years. Today I’m doing exactly what I was doing in the years of apartheid. I’m looking critically at the processes taking place in my country.
  • Differences are settled by talk. You don’t threaten with guns. You don’t threaten with fists. You don’t burn. You don’t destroy. You talk. These actions of the students are the antithesis of democratic action. For me, the essential issue was that [Cape Town University] was in breach of my freedom of expression. I couldn’t leave my work there… to leave my work there would be to endorse that policy.
    • Explaining why he removed his archive from the university's library after students burned artworks in February 2016, as quoted by Natalie Pertsovsky in Here is the list of art destroyed on UCT, GroundUp, 9 June 2017

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