It’s a boom time for photography in London at the moment, with significant exhibitions currently running at the V&A, Museum of London and the Deutsche Börse photography prize exhibition at the Ambika Gallery. I can’t remember a time when this has happened before.
The V&A’s exhibition is particularly good, with a wide variety of subject matter from a selection of contemporary South African photographers working across Africa. Pieter Hugo’s menacing shot of a Nigerian man with his captive hyena is there, as are a selection Nontsikelelo Veleko’s fresh street fashion portraits.
In addition to these well-known photographers there were lots of new faces documenting unusual aspects of life, which to me is important in a photography exhibition. Sabelo Mlangeni’s shots of cross-dressing men in rural South Africa show a side of South Africa I was completely unaware of. And Terry Kurgan turns his lens on the portrait photographers based in a Johannesburg park. A selection of their handiwork displayed alongside shows the pride people take in being photographed, something being lost here in the UK with the ubiquity of camera-phones.