Arts & Culture

Steve Bloom: Beneath the Surface: South Africa in the Seventies

10:00 am - 5:00 pm | 20 December 2019
The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge | FREE

On the 25th anniversary of the end of apartheid, this exhibition of Steve Bloom’s photographs from the mid 1970s captures a critical moment in the history of South Africa.

1976 was a pivotal year. The first real cracks in the apartheid system of racial segregation appeared when black school children took to the streets to protest against new laws, which had been introduced to reinforce an inferior education system. The authorities struck back ruthlessly, killing and wounding many defenceless children.

It was a time of realisation – the beginning of the end of white complacency and black defeatism. Bloom’s work in apartheid South Africa, poignant and moving, reveals the alienation of a country on the cusp of change, placing Bloom among the select few photographers who caught the mood of the time.

Bloom took to the streets and the townships, photographing people in this pivotal historical moment. In his images, he manages to capture the complex emotional essence of the moment South Africa began to experience unstoppable, real dissent.

‘Steve Bloom: Beneath the Surface – South Africa in the seventies’ runs at the Beaney’s Special Exhibitions Gallery now until Sunday 19 January 2020 (closed on Mondays). Entrance is free with donations encouraged.

Museum & Galleries Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM. Sunday 11 AM to 4 PM.

For more information, visit the website

Image credit: Women with her husband, a stroke patient. Manenberg 1976 © Steve Bloom

Chairman of the council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “On the 25th anniversary of the end of apartheid, when all South Africans were allowed to vote for the first time, leading to Nelson Mandela being elected as President, we are pleased to be hosting this collection of moving images from such a significant time in world history. It is a thought-provoking exhibition by one of South Africa’s leading photographers and viewing is highly recommended.”

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