23 Mar The Golden Age | A Photo Series by Thamsanqa Mbenekazi
Mpumalanga-born Thamsanqa Mbenekazi seeks to celebrate the supreme natural beauty of Africa and its people in a photographic series titled ‘The Golden Age’. Before he took up photography as a way to explore other means of artistic expression, Thamsanqa graduated as a printmaker from Artist Proof Studio where he continued as a silkscreen-technician intern in the studio’s Pro-Shop until early 2014.
His recent body of work, ‘The Golden Age’ began as an investigation into black history. “I wanted to find historical images of ancient Africa, how the forefathers looked, dressed and lived,” says Thamsanqa, who was shocked by how few he came across. Using the illustrations, sculptures and architectural images he was able to source he formulated the concept for the series.
“Africa used to be a peaceful place, a self-sustaining place with Monarchs that took care of their people. It used to possess so much wealth and intelligence that the colonial masters couldn’t believe their eyes. ‘The Golden Age’ is my interpretation of Africa before it was destroyed by colonialism, before its people were diminished to pain and hunger, brutality and slavery,” he reflects. “This is my celebration of a history that was erased and stolen from its origins.”