Market Photo Workshop

The Market Photo Workshop is a school of photography, a resource for practicing photographers and a photographic gallery.

The Workshop was started in 1989 by world-renowned photographer, David Goldblatt. It began as a training institution for aspiring photographers who were excluded from tertiary education by the apartheid government’s racially discriminatory practices. It focused initially on social documentary photography, a genre important in enabling students to document the then divided and highly politicised South African landscape. Since 1994, the Photo Workshop has evolved into an institution which focuses on the broader, contemporary photographic practices and concerns. It also empowers student with the conventional training requisite to make them economically and culturally active members of society.

The Photo workshop has played a crucial role in establishing new voices in South African photography and fostering a rich culture in visual literacy. It has given rise to award-winning, world-renowned photographers such as Themba Hadebe, Jodi Bieber, Nontsikelelo Veleko and Zanele Muholi. Through the years, a large percentage of photographers employed at daily newspapers have been trained at the Photo Workshop.

At the opening of an exhibition celebrating the organisation’s 20th anniversary in 2009, Goldblatt expressed the following:

"Our trainers and students have shown a fearless willingness to confront issues of real concern in their own lives, the lives of the communities within which they have photographed and ultimately, our society… Notwithstanding our huge and seemingly intractable problems… there has been a sense of freedom in post-apartheid South Africa such as we have not known before. The Workshop has imbibed that spirit; it has become a place that nurtures and enables discovery."

The Market Photo Workshop is a division of the Market Theatre Foundation.

Did You Know?

Did you know that in the late 1900s Newtown was one of the few places in Johannesburg where people of different cultures and races mixed freely?