ORAL HISTORY ARCHIVE:
Interviewed by Mark Durden
Location: Modern Art, Oxford
Date: January 2003
(Chapter 1 of 6, Running Time: 00:10:46)
Chapter 1 Synopsis:
- Grandparents left Lithuania for South Africa in the pogroms of 1892.
- Born in South Africa in 1930 in Randfontein, educated locally.
- Matriculated in 1948 - wanted to become magazine photographer.
- Lack of opportunities - ends up working in Father's Outfitting Store.
- Father becomes ill - ends up running business for 12 years.
- During this time completes degree in Commerce at University of Johannesburg.
- No formal training in photography.
- Inspired by photographic magazines of late '40s / early '50s such as 'Look', 'Life', 'Picture Post' and 'Salon Photography'.
- Work by photographers such as Bill Brandt, Cartier Bresson and Robert Capa published as 'photographic essays'.
- Early work embued with missionary zeal to tell world about what was happening in South Africa.
- Photographs ANC Defiance Campaign in 1952.
- Father dies - 15th September 1963 sells family business.
- Encouraged by Norman Hall to become professional photographer.
- Great shock when National Party comes into power in South Africa in 1948.
- Considers emigratting to escape racial and anti-semitic tension.
- In '60s - during work on 'Afrikaners' series - realises sense of involvement with South Africa and determines to stay.