‘The Usual Suspect’ – a solo exhibition by Siphosihle Mkhwanazi, currently being showcased at Market Photo Workshop in Newtown until August 31 – explores what happens to a community seeking validation, attainment and normality in Vrededorp.
Vrededorp has historically been a space that defied the ideology of racial segregation. Presently, it is a diverse community inhabited by individuals facing many struggles to make a living for themselves and their families. Some of the struggles include a life dictated by substance dependence, and often perceived by society as lacking more moral principles.
‘The Usual Suspect’ confronts stereotypes about substance users, while reflecting on the challenges that the users encounter on a day-to-day basis. It is an insider’s reflection of individuals’ deferred dreams and aspirations, amidst a culture seeking to negatively label and alienate them.
Mkhwanazi is the second recipient of the Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography. Market Photo Workshop in association with the family of the late Wulfsohn in 2012 established the mentorship. The mentorship is set out as a developmental mentorship; and is seen as an opportunity to continue Wulfsohn’s approach and interests in photography.
Mkhwanazi was born in 1990. Between 2011 and 2012, the artist successfully completed the Foundation and Intermediate courses at Market Photo Workshop.
In 2012 he continued with his photography studies at the Market Photo Workshop enrolling for the yearlong Advanced Programme in Photography. He has published locally and been exhibited in-group exhibitions that include ‘Identikit’, ‘Spectrum’ and ‘Show Us Our Land’.
Mkhwanazi was mentored by renowned South African photographer and 2010 World Press Photo of the Year winner, Jodi Bieber.
Market Photo Workshop is situated on 2 Helen Joseph Street (entrance Bus Factory), Newtown.