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Highly acclaimed South African photographer David Goldblatt has decided to renounce a top South African award, in protest against the Protection of State Information Bill, which was passed by...
Author: David Goldblatt
Publication date: 25 November 2011
My dear Aung San Su Kyi I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness about the plight of the Muslim minority in...
His Excellency Ayatollah Khomeini, Teheran  Islamic Republic of Iran On behalf of the African National Congress and the oppressed masses of South Africa we express to you our immense joy at...
Your Excellency, The leadership of the African National Congress of South Africa takes this opportunity again to congratulate Your Excellency on your recent election to the high post of Secretary-...
H.E. Sir Geoffrey Howe Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs London. Sir Geoffrey, I am most grateful for your kind letter of 18 July 1986 which has now reached me, and greatly...
We received with great shock and anger the news of the brazen and outrageous invasion of the Kingdom of Lesotho by the racist South African army on December 9th. The multiple murders of Lesotho...
We enclose herewith a copy of a document published by our Information Department exposing the dangerous and sinister policy of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany aimed at perpetuating...
A.B Xuma,the 6th President General of the ANC(1940 - 49) 44th National Conference: Letter on "certain tendencies" from Dr. A. B. Xuma 18 December 1955 The President-General and Delegates...
Author: A.B Xuma
Sindile Moya was head prefect in Zimasa Higher Primary School in Langa during 1976. He was involved in protests on the ground, as well as helping to organise collaborative efforts between different...
Author: Sindile Moya
Thembinkosi Khumalo is a student activist at the University of Pretoria. He is an active PASMA member. PASMA is a student division of PAC. Khumalo is also involved in community upliftment in his...
Author: Thembinkosi Khumalo

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Art is an act of resistance. It asserts our agency. Omar Badsha has identified not only as an artist, but an activist for most of his life. Born in 1945, he grew up under the oppression of apartheid, facing injustice on a daily basis. He was harassed, his work was banned, and his movement was restricted. But Badsha fought back with photography. Today his work as a historian is ensuring that the truth of our past, and our future, remains free.     

Badsha discovered his love of politics through his father, being raised in a house where activists came to meet. He had dreams of studying art abroad, but in 1965 was denied a passport by the government. Nevertheless, he continued to create, and that same year one of his woodcuts won the first of many awards. As a man well known for his doggedness, veracity, and humanity, Badsha refused to exhibit his drawings and paintings in segregated galleries. When he joined the trade union movement he turned his eye to photography. Badsha’s first book of photographs, Letter to Farzanah, was banned after release. Now freely accessible, his book depicts the lives of South African children of all races and backgrounds during apartheid. “We came out of a society where our history was actually erased, totally, not recognised,” he says. “But we turned it around during the anti-apartheid struggle.”

Badsha’s extensive photographic work has been exhibited globally, and it’s his emotive images of ordinary people that illustrate the heart behind his activism. In the 1990s, Badsha was finally given his first passport. It was only valid for three months, but the freedom he fought for came soon after as South Africa held its first democratic elections on 27 April 1994. He then founded South African History Online, a non-profit project dedicated to preserving an open history of our country. It’s the largest website of its kind in Africa, and has a virtual classroom to help teach children. In 2017, Badsha was awarded an honorary doctorate by Stellenbosch University. His work serves as a reminder that the pain of our past is not to be forgotten. Instead, it is the key to our future, and our freedom.

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