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20 Years of Democracy

Graeme Williams (b. 1961)

Graeme Williams studied geology and statistics, but chose instead to work as a freelance photographer. After working in London he settled in Johannesburg in 1988. He worked for Reuters, covering resistance to apartheid and the movement towards ANC rule. Since South Africa’s transition to democracy he has increasingly concentrated on personal projects and magazine work pushing the boundaries of documentary photography. He worked on assignment for numerous local and international publications, including Leadership, The New York Times, Time, Stern, and National Geographic. Williams’ work has been shown in one-person and combined exhibitions in South Africa, Europe, Australia and the United States, and is held in a number of permanent collections. He is also the winner of the 2013 Ernest Cole Award.

"Now I’m interested in exploring a looser way of photographing; letting go of frame and form and preconceptions, and letting things flow more. "

- Graeme Williams, Then & Now, 2008

Thabong Township, Welkom, Free State.

GRAEME WILLIAMS
Thabong Township, Welkom, Free State.
2005

Two children wait their turn to perform in the Cape Minstrel Carnival held each year at Greenpoint Stadium, Sea Point, Cape Town, Western Cape.

GRAEME WILLIAMS
Two children wait their turn to perform in the Cape Minstrel Carnival held each year at Greenpoint stadium, Sea Point, Cape Town, Western Cape.
2005

Members of the National Peacekeeping Force stand guard over the bodies of three young men who were shot dead outside a tavern, Katlehong, Johannesburg, Gauteng.

GRAEME WILLIAMS
Members of the National Peacekeeping Force stand guard over the bodies of three young men who were shot dead outside a tavern, Katlehong, Johannesburg, Gauteng.
1994

Manicurist Nombuso Ntuli waits for customers at the Chosen Beauty Salon. She is a tenant at the minishopping centre that now stands where the tavern once was. She has no knowledge of what had occurred at this site 18 years earlier, Katlehong, Johannesburg, Gauteng.

GRAEME WILLIAMS
Manicurist, Nombuso Ntuli, waits for customers at the Chosen Beauty Salon. She is a tenant at the minishopping centre that now stands where the tavern once was. She has no knowledge of what had occurred at this site 18 years earlier, Katlehong, Johannesburg, Gauteng.
2012

African National Congress supporters tie their party’s flag to the statue of King Edward VII, while listening to Nelson Mandela’s speech, just hours after his release from prison, Cape Town, Western Cape.

GRAEME WILLIAMS
African National Congress supporters tie their party’s flag to the statue of King Edward VII, while listening to Nelson Mandela’s speech, just hours after his release from prison, Cape Town, Western Cape.
1990

Pigeons gather looking for food, Cape Town, Western Cape.

GRAEME WILLIAMS
Pigeons gather looking for food, Cape Town, Western Cape.
c. 2012