The South African Centre for Photography ( SACP ) was established in 1998 under the auspices of the University of Cape Town as a non- profit organization by Geoff Grundlingh, then lecturer of photography at Michaelis School of Art. The idea to create a national Centre for Photography arose out of discussions between numerous photographic constituencies, all of whom felt the need to promote creative South African photography.
Details of the Centre’s past events and educational projects can be found under the relevant tabs in our Archive section of the older website info, as well as details of the 2008 successful MOP4, the 4th Cape Town Month of Photography Festival, which hosted 100 exhibitions, workshops and related events in the city over a 6 week period. The core group that worked towards the 2008 Festival was made up of a steering committee of Dale Yudelman – key designer, Jenny Altschuler – Festival director, Sarie Potter, Buyaphi Mdlele, Pieter Badenhorst, Kathy Coates, Heidi Erdmann, Rima Geffen, and Shani Judes.
By the end of 2009, most of the steering committee members were very involved in their own projects/ businesses/ careers, and without a consistent substantial flow of income, the South African Centre moved over to carry out projects solely on a partner – project basis. Exciting partnerships with companies and organizations in the community and industry have been bridged and project shared. Successful and worthwhile projects have transpired.
Although dependent largely on voluntary patronage and service in 2010 and 2011, successful mentorship and short course programs were celebrated, as well as the sponsorship of small projects and grants for part bursaries to a number of applicant for studies. 2010 also saw a partnership with The Centre for African Studies to present “juggling with the familiar” exhibition and a seminar “ Curiosity of the Familiar” with panelists: Iziko curator of Photography and New Media: Pam Warne; Art and Photography Historian: Annabelle Wienand and Conceptual Photographer and Artist: Lien Botha.
2012 has already accomplished 2 successful large projects, running parallel in the 1st quarter of the year. A highly successful partnership with World Press Photo Holland presenting the prestigious World Press Photo 11 at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, and a joint endeavor with Iziko Museums on the 2012 Summer school Program in February.
It is ambitious to hope that a single initiative like this can unify the disparate groupings which typify our photographic landscape; however we aim to continue to promote the interests of these groups through the Centre.
We invite offers to sponsor, host and lead or partner projects as well as join the steering committee from anywhere in the country. We are also open to discussion towards participation in interesting and relevant projects. We would be pleased to hear from interested parties and especially from past members of the photographic communities about matters of common interest.
Our present activities include securing funding to ensure the future of the organisation, hosting workshops, Live Exhibition projection evenings and working towards MOP5, the 5th Cape Town Month of Photography FESTIVAL, scheduled for 27 September – 31 October 2012.
The South African Centre for Photography endeavours to promote a broader understanding of the medium of photography in all its forms, nationally and on the continent, and to foster the development of its practice, teaching, scholarship and criticism through the establishment of sustainable programmes and exhibitions.
- Promote photography through local, national and international exhibitions as well as related events.
- Promote photography as a means of expression through formal and informal educational programs and by establishing links with institutions and partner organisations.
- Run pilot projects and skills-based training programs, placing special emphasis on developing communities and create sustainable models that can be used elsewhere.
- Establish, maintain and grow a database of southern African photographic information.
- Establish an online and physical library.
- Maintain and expand a photographic print collection.
- Network and dialogue with photographers, curators, collectors, writers, publishers and researchers.
- Establish relationships with our counterparts worldwide.
- Contribute towards setting and protecting industry standards.
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