David Goldblatt was born in Randfontein in 1930. His parents, Eli Goldblatt and Olga Light, had arrived in South Africa in 1890 fleeing the persecution of Jews in Lithuania. Goldblatt has been documenting and photographing African society for more than fifty years, before, during and after the political regime of apartheid. His photographic portrayals of people and situations reflect the country’s political structure and social framework. Shunning sensationalism and predictable imagery, Goldblatt uses details from everyday life to show the complex value system that governs society.
His images – which are actually documents arising from a process of social research – have been exhibited around the world and printed in numerous books alongside texts by acclaimed authors such as Nadine Gordimer and J. M. Coetzee.
His photographs can be found at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the New York MoMA, and MACBA.