Location: Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, South
Research Centre: Africa Centre for Health
and Population Studies
“Any work that is of interest to me is the
kind of work that urges me to ask diverse questions. The questions
that we are driven to ask emanate from our understanding or lack of
understanding of a certain culture. I spend years researching and
understanding my subject matter, and I try to focus on the positive
and avoid the spectacle. Aesthetics plays a major role when
considering the construction of a photograph. Colour, texture and
the pose are vital elements of the image. It is very important to
me, in terms of aesthetics, to portray something that I find
beautiful.” Zwelethu Mthethwa
While in residence, Zwelethu will be exploring
the part that communities play in contributing to health
research. The outcomes of his residency may include an exhibition
in the Umkhanyakude district of KwaZulu-Natal.
"Zwelethu Mthethwa arrived on Sunday evening after a rather long journey from Cape Town to Mtubatuba. With a sense of nervousness and anticipation I went to meet him."
"With the proposed photographic project, Zwelethu Mthethwa intends to visually define the Mtubatuba community that Africa Centre is working with, subverting the dehumanisation inherent in statistics, and instead emphasising the human faces attached to the data."
"Go to your local communities, to your families, to your friends and try to capture what you understand is good health."
"This work has been a life-changing experience for me since it has introduced me to the art or photography and has given me the opportunity to work alongside a true master."
Zwelethu began his residency in May 2012.
Mthethwa’s CV [PDF,111KB]
Image: Zwelethu Mthethwa. Photo © Jurie Senekal, 2007