Two curator’s: Zara Julius and Chandra Frank launched Proclamation 73, an exhibition of personal photographic archives from Durban families, on Monday, 10 December at the Durban Art Gallery situated at the Durban City Hall. The exhibition is set to run until 15 February 2019.
“The exhibition takes its title from the Proclamation 73, issued in 1951, in which indians were further categorised as a subdivision of people racialised as coloured. This further complicates the arbitrary nature of racial classification under the apartheid regime,” said Frank.
Inspired by their own family histories, Julius and Frank set out to collect family photos of everyday lived experiences. Proclamation 73 portrays narratives on the meaning of loss, kinship and home through drawing on the family album. The presented collection includes photos of weddings, beach days, ballroom dance contests, street portraits, and other snapshots.
“Proclamation 73 covers a large time period, and takes a non-linear approach to the fragmented narratives and histories that emerge out of this project working with archives that are rarely viewed alongside each other.
Through portraying a wide variety of images, archival materials, and selected work from the collection of Afrapix documentary photographers, Peter McKenzie and Rafs Mayet, this exhibition invites viewers to think through questions of representation, erasure, and intimacy,” said Julius.
The exhibition investigates and challenges of how different racial histories and segregation continue to operate within the city of Durban and its surroundings. Through weaving representations of the everyday together with photos of the aftermath of forced removals, Proclamation 73 seeks to disrupt static racial categories, especially taking into account how categories such as ‘coloured’ and ‘indian’ were used as tools of anti-blackness.