Call and Response Book Launch

I have just recently come across this transcription from the launch of Call and Response at the Book Lounge in Cape Town in 2012, so some time ago, but a detailed and important conversation between my interlocutor UWC Historian Patricia Hayes and myself.

Again, I post this for the sake of documentation, and to make such conversations readily available to researchers and the like. Enjoy!

Book launch of Cedric Nunn, Call and Response

Conversation between Cedric Nunn and Patricia Hayes, introduced by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen.

The Book Lounge, Cape Town

12 June 2012

Transcribed by Bianca van Laun

Bronwyn: Thank you everybody for coming out on this blustery Cape Town evening. I’m Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, I’m the editor of Fourthwall Books which is the South African publisher of Cedric Nunn: Call and Response. I’m not going to say anything at the end so I’ll just say thank you now to Mervin and everyone else at Love Books for once again being so hospitable and hosting the book launch

Mervin: You mean the Book Lounge

Bronwyn: Oh sorry. (Laughs) I’m so sorry. The last one was at Love Books in Joburg. Book Lounge, sorry Mervin my apologies. The Book Lounge. Thank you. About two years ago I was approached by, I had known Cedric’s work obviously for a long time and so I was absolutely delighted when Ralph Seippel who is Cedric’s gallerist in Johannesburg approached Fourthwall Books with the idea of doing this publication and the German publishers. I think Cedric, he looks so young, I always think Cedric looks so young but he’s been around for ages. (Laughter). Young and sexy says George Hallett.   But Cedric has been at the cold face of South African photography since the 80s, since the 1980s.  He entered the fray at a critical juncture not only in the history of South Africa but in the history of photography, South African photography and I think very quickly established himself as a photographer with a deep sense of justice and at the same time a deep compassion and humanity for his subjects and for the environments in which they found themselves.  And that has always been the thing that has stood out for me and I think probably for many of you who know Cedric ‘s work is his desire to get off the beaten track and although he has been at some of the momentous events and has photographed some of the critical moments in South Africa history, he’s also been to the quiet places, to the places where most of us don’t go, to find the people that he’s really interested in and to whom he feels, with whom he feels a deep affinity. So his photography evinces an enormous generosity and compassion. Patricia is going to be Cedric’s interlocutor tonight. I met Patricia a couple of years ago on the occasion of your publication of John Liebenberg’s book. Patricia is a historian by training and her research and her work is in history but she has obviously developed a very keen sense of the relationship of the visual to history, and of history to the visual in South Africa. She teaches history at UWC and has been involved in very interesting projects about South African photography, to do with South African photography, so I think she’s a very worthy conversationalist and questioner tonight. So thank you very much Patricia for agreeing to talk to Cedric, and over to both of you. Continue reading