Wembley to Soweto A Photographic Exhibition

Sage Gateshead

Wembley to Soweto is an extraordinary photographic journey of images shot by disadvantaged teenagers from the Johannesburg townships.

Join us for this breathtaking exhibition at Sage Gateshead until Tuesday 17th April.


What difference can a photograph make?

In 1988, more than 80,000 people attended a concert at Wembley Stadium to celebrate the 70th birthday of Mr Nelson Mandela. 600 million viewers tuned in, as the world sent many happy returns to prisoner 46664, and joined with him in spirit to demand an end to apartheid in South Africa.

The iconic photograph of that momentous day was taken by the internationally renowned photographer John Cole. It now hangs on the wall in Mr Mandela’s home.

In summer 2010, David Westhead of Wilton Pictures invited John to run a 4 week intensive photography course in Johannesburg.

The course, run in conjunction with Umuzi Photo Club, afforded an opportunity for 8 teenagers from the townships to work alongside one of the worldls best photographers. This course was not solely about taking striking images; it was about how to feed your family using a camera as the tool of your trade.

Involvement with the project has helped empower the young people to fulfill their hopes and dreams. Participants have been awarded full scholarships and bursaries to photographic colleges, had work published in magazines including Marie-Claire, have completed shoots for Vodacom and the South African Parliament and had images exhibited in top galleries in New York, Antwerp and Johannesburg.

A book featuring all the exhibition photos and more is available in Sage Gateshead’s shop priced at £19.99 and all profits from sales of the book directly support the continuation of the project.

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