28 Mar Documentary photography as a language: The visual works of Tshepiso Mabula
Tshepiso Mabula is a Johannesburg-based photographer and writer. She sees herself as a social commentator, using documentary photography as her language.
“I am a visual observer of bantu living, a member of the movement against neo-liberal stokvel politics, a non conformist and a township native working towards owning her first full a set of Tupperware dishes,” she says.
The photographer first became interested in the medium in 2012 after becoming exposed to the work of legendary South African photographer Santu Mofokeng. “I was always captured by ntate Santu and Thabiso’s ability to use photography to speak to people across all walks of life, as someone who was born in a rural village it encouraged me to see people like myself in photographs so when I pursued photography I sought to tell those kinds of stories,” she shares with us.
Mabula is currently freelancing as a news photographer while working on an on-going documentary project titled ‘Four rooms and seven colours’, which seeks to question the existence of classism in township culture.
The compassionate and intimate storyteller has a talent for photographically representing the lives of ordinary people. Here, she takes us through a selection of her evocative work.
All photographs courtesy of Tshepiso Mabula.