Lindokuhle Sobekwa: I Carry Her Photo with Me

Lindokuhle Sobekwa initiated this project after discovering a family photo with his sister Ziyanda’s face cut out. He describes her as secretive, rebellious, and tough, and recalls a traumatic day when she chased him, resulting in him being hit by a car. She vanished for hours and only returned a decade later, unwell. By then, Sobekwa had become a photographer and realized the family lacked a photo of her. He recounts, ‘One day, I saw this beautiful light coming through the window, illuminating her face. I raised my camera to capture the moment, but she gave me an angry look and said: “Stop! If you take that picture, I’ll kill you!” So, I put the camera down. I still wish I had taken the shot.’ Ziyanda passed away soon after.
Using a scrapbook style with handwritten notes, “I Carry Her Photo with Me” allows Sobekwa to connect with his sister’s memory and explore the broader implications of such disappearances – a haunting aspect of South African history. The book complements his extensive work on fragmentation, poverty, and the enduring effects of apartheid and colonialism at all levels of South African society.
The book includes a long-form essay by writer and scholar Neelika Jayawardane.

A portrait of Lindokuhle Sobekwa

About the Author

Lindokuhle Sobekwa, a South African photographer born in 1995 in Katlehong, Johannesburg, discovered his passion for photography in 2012 through the Of Soul and Joy Project, an educational initiative in Thokoza, a township southeast of Johannesburg. He trained under notable mentors including Bieke Depoorter, Cyprien Clément-Delmas, Thabiso Sekgala, Tjorven Bruyneel, and Kutlwano Moagi.
Sobekwa’s initial projects focused on the issues of poverty and unemployment in South African townships, as well as the escalating nyaope drug crisis. His current work continues to explore these themes while also delving into personal narratives, such as his relationship with his sister, Ziyanda, who passed away after a period of estrangement from the family.
In 2013, Sobekwa participated in a group exhibition in Thokoza organized by Rubis Mecenat at the Ithuba Art Gallery in Johannesburg. His photo essay “Nyaope” was published in the South African newspaper Mail & Guardian in 2014, and featured in Vice Magazine’s Annual Photo Issue and De Standaard the same year.
In 2015, Sobekwa was awarded a scholarship to study at the Market Photo Workshop, where he completed his foundation course. His series “Nyaope” was showcased in the group exhibition “Free From My Happiness,” organized by Rubis Mecenat at the International Photo Festival of Ghent in Belgium. In 2016, he participated in a residency in Tehran, Iran, with the No Man’s Art Gallery, and his work was included in the traveling exhibition of “Free From My Happiness.”
Sobekwa’s work is featured in the book “Free from my Happiness,” edited by Bieke Depoorter and Tjorven Bruyneel. He also participated in the group show “Fresh Produce,” organized by Assemblages and VANSA at the Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg. Additionally, Sobekwa serves as an assistant to the Of Soul and Joy Project Manager and is a trainee at Mikhael Subotzky Studio.
In 2017, Sobekwa was selected by the Magnum Foundation for Photography and Social Justice to develop the project “I Carry Her Photo With Me.” In 2018, he received the Magnum Foundation Fund to continue his long-term project “Nyaope” and was chosen for the Cité des Arts Réunion residency.
Sobekwa became a Magnum Nominee in 2018 and was elevated to Member status in 2022.

Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Mack (April, 2024)
Language: English
Size: 7.08 x 8.66 inches
Weight: 1.74 pounds
ISBN-10: 1915743311
ISBN-13: 978-1915743312

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