The Market Photo Workshop in partnership with The Tierney Family Foundation is excited to announce Tshepiso Mabula as the 11th recipient of the Tierney Fellowship at the Market Photo Workshop. The Tierney Fellowship enables an ideal platform for an emerging photographer to successfully conceptualize, develop and produce a body of work of photography. The Fellowship provides the successful applicant with the financial support necessary to research and produce a body of photography work, in consultation with an appointed mentor of the recipient’s preference, over a period of a year.
The Tierney Fellowship builds on other Market Photo Workshop platforms geared towards a South Africa where photography plays an important part in the development of careers and the development of photography.
The selection of the 11th Tierney Fellow adhered to a thorough selection process with an expert panel of judges, which comprised of Matthew Tierney, Lekgetho Makola, Tshegofatso Mabaso, Tsepo Gumbi, Jerry Vezzuso, and Ruth Sacks.
Buyaphi Mdledle, a renowned South African photographer and practitioner, will mentor Mabula.
About Tshepiso Mabula
Tshepiso Mabula is a photographer and writer born in the Lephalale district of Limpopo, South Africa. Mabula’s interest in photography sparked when during a visit to a family member she was introduced to award-winning South African photographer Santu Mofokeng’s body of work Rumours/The Bloemhof Portfolio. She completed her studies in photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg in 2015. Mabula explores the small things through photography: exposing the humanity in oppositional, chaotic or even boring environments.
Mabula’s work for the Tierney Fellowship looks at the lives of the people who sacrificed their youth and their lives fighting for South Africa and what democracy means to them. The project seeks to explore how these soldiers deal with the trauma and struggles that came with leaving behind their homes and throwing away their youth in the armed struggles against liberation, It will look at how factors like class, gender and social status has affected how much opportunity they have received and how far their lives have changed.
Mabula commented, “The purpose and aim of this project is to explore the effect of combat and guerrilla warfare on the mental health of the veterans and how the traumas experienced in the past is dealt with on a day-to-day basis, I would also like to explore the idea of celebrating these veterans who have often been treated as items on the periphery and to pay homage to them for the struggles they made in the armed struggle.”
About the mentor, Buyaphi Mdledle
Buyaphi Mdledle is a South African documentary photographer and Senior Trainer at the Market Photo Workshop. Mdledle completed the Market Photo Workshop’s Advanced Programme in Photography in 2003 and has taught photography intermittently at the Alf Khumalo School of Photography, Soweto; City Varsity, Cape Town and from 2010 at the Market Photo Workshop. He has exhibited locally and initiated a community photography project ‘Soweto Photo Album’ in Pimville, Soweto. He is the founder of Inyuvesi YakaBuyaphi a platform that develops photography programmes and photography education projects with young people in Soweto. Mdledle was the joint mentor of the Inaugural 2015 Tierney Bamako Award winner Moussa John Kalapo. Since 2015 he has been a mentor in The Photography Incubator Programme, which aims to enhance and elevate photographers’ business ventures and artistic practice through hands-on job practice, combined with technical and theoretical support and incubation.
Mdledle curated the 40/40 Politics of Photography exhibition as part of commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1976 June16th Soweto Youth Uprisings and the role that Township based photojournalists played in witnessing and documenting youth activism in these 40 years. He also co-curated Other Worlds, an exhibition by Tierney Bamako Award recipient Moussa John Kalapo.
About The Tierney Fellowship
The Tierney Fellowship was created in 2003 by The Tierney Family Foundation to support emerging artists in the field of photography. The primary goal of the Fellowship is to find tomorrow’s distinguished artists and leaders in the world of photography and assist them in overcoming the challenges that a photographer faces at the beginning of his or her career.
The Tierney Fellowship programme ran for the first time in South Africa in 2008 and partner institutions include the Market Photo Workshop, WITS School of Arts and The Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.
The aim of the fellowship is twofold: encouraging fellows to produce a new body of work and creating a global community of artists that functions as a crucial support network in an increasingly competitive field. The Fellowship supports the recipients both financially, by way of a grant, and technically and conceptually, with mentorship and guidance from experts in the field.
Fellows remain an important part of the programme after the conclusion of their structured mentorship. Seminars and critiques are held throughout the year to facilitate interaction between all current and past recipients, encouraging discussion about their photography, work experience and lives as artists.
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