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The Archive is a selected compilation of writings and videos.

Getting to know Omar from the inside out by Robyn Sassen, February 19, 2019

THE ROOM IS deeply silent, but robustly populated. All eyes are focused on the speaker, who is out of your line of sight. In this 1989 photograph of a trade union meeting at the University of Cape Town, photographer Omar Badsha (b. 1945) peers with a clean mix of empathy, objectivity and acuity into the hearts and faces of every person in this meeting that his lens embraces. The effect is overwhelming and utterly magnetic.

Photographers and their archives #1 – Interview with Omar Badsha

This blog frequently focuses on archives and artists working with photographic archives but… how do photographers look after their own archives? This question we have had in mind for a while will be explored in this new column. In this first installment, photographer and activist Omar Badsha (born in Durban in 1945) talks about his archive and revisits past experiences relating to the production of archives during the apartheid era in South Africa. This interview could not be more timely as Omar is about to publish a new book, Seedtimes: A Retrospective (August 2017). To know more about Omar and order his book, please visit his website.

Seedtimes: A Retrospective – Omar Badsha (Review by Darren Newbury, University of Brighton)

Seedtimes – the title of Omar Badsha’s photographic retrospective is drawn from a poem by Mafika Gwala written in the wake of the Soweto Uprising of 1976, a period when the cultural and political movement against apartheid really began to develop momentum in the townships of South Africa. A time when there would be ‘no more lullabies’ as Gwala put it.

Seedtime Retrospective - a review by Khehla Chepape Makgato (ampersandonline)

A review of Omar Badsha’s ‘Seedtime Retrospective’ at Museum Africa, Johannesburg

Better known as a social documentary photographer, anti-apartheid activist, unionist, historian, writer, many people do not know that Omar Badsha started his professional career as an artist in the 60’s. To introduce this my article on Badsha, I will quote Eric Newton, scholar, artist and art critic, from his book The Arts of Man. He wrote in the dawn of Badsha’s art career, ‘To note that man is a recorder of his own experience is important, for that is equivalent to saying that man is an artist.’

Article on Omar Badsha's Photography in the Kulula in-flight magazine (March 2016)

In the March 2016 issue of Kulula in-flight magazine appeared an article on SA's top four black-and-white photographers. 

See here for article.

Activist, photographer Badsha's work on display, Daily News, 08 October 2015

Running at the Durban Art Gallery until November 31, a press relase states that the exhibition spans almost five decades, starting in the 1960's, and includes Badsha's early prints and drawings as well as his celebrated photographic essays.

Badsha Brilliance, The Mercury, 1 October 2015

Some of the many fascinating images featured in Seedtime: A Retrospective of Omar Badsha, an exhibition now at the Durban Art Gallery in the city centre.

The exhibition covers work from the 1960s and includes Badsha’s early prints and drawings, as well as his now-celebrated photographic essays. Clockwise, from left, are photographs of a teacher in Inanda in 1983; a candid shot of woman in a canteen; Dorothy Nyembe in 1983, celebrating her release after 15 years in prison; and a candid shot in KwaZulu-Natal in 1983.