Madeleine Bazil is an American-born, British-educated artist and storyteller based in South Africa who is studying toward an MA Documentary Arts at the University of Cape Town.
Madeleine is interested in candid honesty, natural light, and implicit humanity; her documentary work seeks to hold space for collective and individual memory of trauma – both cultural and personal.
In no particular order, here are Madeleine’s top 5 photos.
This image is part of a body of work that was created last year surrounding the human and political implications of the Western Cape water crisis. This series was featured on several websites and some images from it were exhibited in a group show called ‘Towards A Sentimental Cartography of Water’ at Greatmore Studios in Cape Town.
2) Llandudno and 3) How Sweet It Is
Like many expats Madeleine has a complicated relationship with the idea of ‘home’. These photos are part of a very personal series that she shot over the past couple years as she tried to reckon with the questions of self-mythologisation, pre-emptive nostalgia and figuring out what she seeks in the spaces she calls ‘home’.
This is a photo from an ongoing, long-term project documenting the life of Celine, a transgender woman who has been experiencing homelessness in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town for the past 15 years. It’s a multimedia collaboration involving photos, pages of poetry and song lyrics from Celine’s journals.
5) As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh (Self)
Madeleine was reading a lot of Sontag at the end of last year and it got her thinking about the geographies of the self – what can be mapped or scaled and what cannot. Physicality as synecdoche for the internal self.