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Exhibition captures ‘vanishing lifestyles’

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Vanishing Lifestyles looks at traditional and cultural practices in BRICS countries that are vanishing to give way to modern lifestyles

Picture: Danie van der Lith

A COLLECTION of photographs by renowned international photographers from the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will form part of an exhibition, titled “Vanishing Lifestyles”, that opens at the William Humphreys Art Gallery tonight.

The exhibition forms part of the celebration of the first decade of the BRICS Summit in 2018 and is hosted by the Department of Arts and Culture and the Northern Cape Department Sports, Arts and Culture, in partnership with the William Humphreys Art Gallery (Whag), and is aimed at showcasing the photographs of renowned international photographers within the BRICS countries that have a significant impact on the current situation internationally.

Vanishing Lifestyles looks at traditional and cultural practices in BRICS countries that are vanishing to give way to modern lifestyles.

South Africa is represented by Dr Attie Gerber, a documentary video guru and acclaimed photographer.

His photos included in the exhibition are a sample of a larger multimedia project about vanishing lifestyles in arid and rural regions in South Africa, especially the Northern Cape and Kalahari

“Over time a wage economy systematically replaced subsistence farming and as people grew more and more dependent on pensions and social grants, typical cultural practices went into a decline. Vanishing Lifestyles captures some examples of cultural practices that date back to herders and pastoralists centuries ago,” Gerber said.

The exhibition will also include photographs by Brazilian photographer Rodrigo Petrella.

Petrella takes photographs of body paintings, ritual scenes, masks and feather pieces and exposes them mediated by his gaze.

On many occasions he photographs men, women and children who observe the look that will turn them into faces. Those portrayed, silent, smiling, haughty, slightly suspicious, face the photographer on the other side of the line that defines the different positions; there they hold for a moment and forever the look. This crossing of glances institutes the space of the images.

India is represented by photographer Virendra Bngaroo.

Vanishing Lifestyles will open at the Whag tonight at 6.30pm for 7pm and will run until Saturday. Members of the public are invited to attend.

– Norma Wildenboer