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Zwelethu Mthethwa


Zwelethu Mthethwa is an artist based in Cape Town, best known for his large-format colour photographs. He is interested in work that raises diverse questions and in providing a different perspective on the realities of post-apartheid life.

While in residence, Zwelethu explored the role that communities play in contributing to the research of the Africa Centre in the small town of Mtubatuba, in KwaZulu-Natal province. He was interested in putting a human face to the collection of data and in giving people the opportunity to document their own perceptions of health.

One of the outcomes of his residency was the Mtubatuba Workshop. Participants were given a camera and some basic lessons in photography. They were then sent out into their communities to explore the theme of "impilo engcono" (good health). This was a refreshing change for a population more usually identified with its high levels of HIV.

Research centre: The Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, Mtubatuba, South Africa