Sunday best, Kakade! Is an attempt to take away the power of representation from the photographer to the subject. The series comes after reading Susan Sontag’s essay -Regarding the pain of others; Here she argues against objectivity in photographs and contends that the photographer yields all the power. The series is inspired by Ntate Santu Mofokeng’s Black photo album and the lifetime work of Seydou Keita. It is about showing how Black people in townships around Johannesburg seek to represent themselves by letting them choose their photo setting and where it’s taken. The title Sunday best is inspired by the popular black south African saying “Sunday Best”, meaning you look really good or are in your entire splendor and glory as the word Sunday would to some usually suggest. I am interested in how the series can grow to respond, work with and or critique the works of Mofokeng and Keita. The point is to find out how different people look at themselves through photography without taking away people’s urgency and whether or not that is possible. The Xhosa word Kakade, meaning “vele” or “of cause”, comes as an affirmation of pride and or appreciation of one’s personhood’ be it in the moment of the photo-shoot or in perpetuity. In this series, I intend to work with and against this statement and discover if representation can go beyond the photographer’s perception, especially in townships where media has created an already existing image. Secondly, I would like to see if collaborating with one’s subjects as a photographer is possible. Furthermore I would like to see if the creation of a new “image” of the township/blacks is something to even concern oneself about or it’s just a waste of time.
Mzoxolo Vimba is a published multimedia artist born in Kokosi, Fochville in 1993. He is a co-founder of a cultural movement called BLK Thought symposium and founder of Sunday best studio. His work focuses on the marginalized and easily ignored sensibilities in life, thereby shedding light on experiences that push back against spaces and notions that seek to erase. He has a keen interest in subcultures as keepers of memory and consistent modes of survival to marginalized people. He studies and works a lot in townships as a way to reimagine how they can also be seen as sights of knowledge production. His work is also interested in exploring modes of creating a lot more concern about the state of life for young South Africans as he feels most of us are lethargic and desensitized. His main motive is care, and through his interest in enlarging what people see and appreciate when looking at people in the margins he intends to alter what one considers as worthy of ‘looking’ at. When not working on developing his craft and knowledge. He works as a projects assistant at Keleketla Library.
Web site: https://www.behance.net/mzoxolovimbastudio