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20 Years of Democracy

George Hallett (b. 1942)

Hallett became fascinated with photography while growing up in the fishing village of Hout Bay. After taking a British correspondence course in photography, he started working in Cape Town as a freelance photographer. During that time he photographed District Six before its destruction under apartheid. From 1970 onwards he lived and worked in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, where he formed close ties with South African exiles. He also briefly taught photojournalism in Zimbabwe, after that country had attained its independence. On his return to South Africa shortly after the release of Nelson Mandela he photographed the first democratic elections at the invitation of the ANC. He was later commissioned to record the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process, seen here. He has published and exhibited widely and recently had a retrospective at the National Gallery, Iziko.

"That picture with the women running towards Mandela, was the first time they had actually seen him close up. And it was an incredible experience, because for the first time I saw the whole country, and the joy and the hope that people had. My God, I thought – it’s finally about to end; this crappy system of apartheid. And that was very inspirational. "

- George Hallett, Then & Now, 2008

Pigeons on Signal Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, Western Cape.

GEORGE HALLETT
Pigeons on Signal Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, Western Cape.
1996

Dance for All School, Gugulethu, Cape Town, Western Cape.

GEORGE HALLETT
Dance for All School, Gugulethu, Cape Town, Western Cape.
1999