From South African History Online:
"Published in 1985, Imijondolo (the isiZulu word for a shack or informal housing), is Omar Badsha's second book of photographs. Badsha's groundbreaking book documents how radically different life in the settlement was, despite being located just thirty kilometres northwest of Durban. The intimate nature of Badsha's photographs is a direct result of Badsha's sustained presence in the settlement, as a political activist and community organizer between 1980 and 1984. Both Desmond Tutu's (then Bishop of Johannesburg) foreword, as well as Heather Hughes' introduction, in Imijondolo, complement the images, which addresses the contemporary local history of the Inanda.
By 1985, when Imijondolo was published, Inanda had a population of over a quarter of a million people, all surviving without basic water or sewage services. In these photos, Badsha investigates not only Inanda's catastrophic drought of 1979 that caused deadly outbreaks of typhoid and cholera, but also pensioners struggling to make ends meet, religious practices in the adjoining Shembe Village and even images from Phoenix, the settlement founded by Gandhi at the turn of the century. The book depicts residents of Inanda at work and at play, in religious worship and in mourning. Imijondolo, in its own, stark way, tells the story of the residents of Inanda, who, despite living in appalling conditions, lived their lives with dignity."
Omar Badsha is a self-taught artist who first received mentorship from his father, who was also an artist and a commercial photographer. His career dates from the early 1960s when he was part of a generation of artist-activists of the immediate post-Sharpeville era. Badsha was a full-time artist from about 1966 to 1972, after which he became involved as a leader in the revival of the trade union movement and the Natal Indian Congress. Thereafter he became well-known as an accomplished photographer. In 1976 he turned to photography as a teaching tool for worker education programmes, and by the early 1980s, he had established himself as one of South Africa’s leading documentary photographers. Badsha was one of the founders of the activist photographers’ collective Afrapix and was instrumental in establishing a centre for documentary photography at the University of Cape Town. He has curated a number of exhibitions and is the author of a number of photographic books.
24.7 x 25 cm | softcover