Photo of Omar Badsha

Omar Badsha

b. 1945, Durban; lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Documentary photography stalwart, Omar Badsha has a long history as a political and cultural activist. More recently, Badsha’s work has involved the development of South African History Online, a website and NPO, which he founded in 1998.

Art Education

Self-taught.

Solo Exhibitions (local)


2006: Retrospective, Durban Art Gallery (DAG), Durban.
2001: Narratives, Rituals and Graven Images: A Retrospective, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
2001: Imperial Ghetto, Durban Art Gallery (DAG), Durban.
1990: On Education, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
1987: Exhibition, Shell Gallery, Cape Town.
1983: Imijondolo, Market Photo Gallery, Johannesburg; University of Natal, Durban; Merebank Public Library, Durban.
1981: Exhibition, Market Photographic Gallery, Johannesburg.
1979: Letter to Farzanah, Natal Society of Arts (NSA), Durban; Pietermaritzburg Public Library, Pietermaritzburg.
1970: Exhibition, Artists' Gallery, Cape Town.

Solo Exhibitions (international)


2004: Narratives, Rituals and Graven Images, Saba Cultural centre, Tehran.
2002: Imperial Ghetto, Alliance Ethio-Francaise, Addis Ababa.
1996: Imperial Ghetto, Pakistan South African High Commission, Islamabad.
1995: Images of Denmark, Copenhagen City Hall, Copenhagen.

Group Exhibitions (local)


2010: Under the Umdoni Tree: The Art of Omar and Ebrahim Badsha, Durban Art Gallery (DAG), Durban; University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
2010: 1910-2010: From Pierneef to Gugulective, Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG), Cape Town.
2009: Precedents and Currents, Mayibuye Centre, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town.
2007: Africa South, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town.
2005: ReVisions: Expanding the Narrative of South African Art, Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG), Cape Town.
2004: A Place Called Home, Durban Art Gallery (DAG), Durban; Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG), Cape Town; Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), Johannesburg.
2003: Freedom ZA, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.
2002: Amulets and Dreams: War, Youth and Change in Africa, Durban Art Gallery (DAG), Durban.
2002: Bonani Africa Festival of Photography, Museum Africa, Johannesburg; Pretoria Art Gallery, Pretoria.
2000: With our own Hands: Fighting Poverty in South Africa, University of South Africa (UniSA), Pretoria.1998: Eye Africa – African Photography 1840-1998, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town; South African National Gallery (SANG), Cape Town.
1996: National Women’s Day Exhibition, House of Parliament, Cape Town.
1996: Cape Town Festival, Centre for the Book, Cape Town.
1996: Portraits, South African National Gallery (SANG), Cape Town.
1996: 25 years of Photo-Journalism, Cape Town; Johannesburg.
1996: Photo Synthesis: Contemporary South African Photography, South African National Gallery (SANG), Cape Town.
1996: Exhibition, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.
1995: People's Portraits, South African National Gallery (SANG), Cape Town.
1992: Visual Arts Group Exhibition, Zolani Centre, Nyanga East; Uluntu Centre, Gugulethu; Manenberg Peoples Centre, Manenberg; Association of Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town.
1991: 48th African National Congress National Conference, Durban.
1988: Human Rights Conference, Port Elizabeth.
1988: Artists for Human Rights, Durban.
1988: Documentary Photography Conference, Cape Town.
1988: United Women’s Congress (UWCO) Festival, Samaj Centre, Cape Town.
1988: Staffrider 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Market Photo Gallery, Johannesburg.
1987: History Workshop, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
1986: South Africa in Conflict: End Conscription Campaign, Baxter Theatre, Cape Town.
1986: Weekly Mail Book Week, Cape Town.
1985: Staffrider Annual Exhibition, Market Photo Gallery, Johannesburg.
1984: Omar Badsha and Paul Weinberg, (fka) Natal Society of Arts (NSA), Durban.
1984: Staffrider Annual Exhibition, Market Photo Gallery, Johannesburg.
1984: History Workshop, Wits University, Johannesburg.
1984: South Africa: The Cordoned Heart, Carnegie Conference, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
1983: South Africa Through the Lens: Staffrider Annual Exhibition, Market Photo Gallery, Johannesburg.
1982: We Photograph, Durban Municipal Art Gallery (DMAG), Durban.
1982: Imperial Ghetto, Nuffield Gallery, Durban.
1982: South Africa: Photo Statements, South African National Gallery (SANG), Cape Town. 1982: Creative Arts Society, University of Durban- Westville (UDW), Durban.
1982: Cultural Festival, Allan Taylor Residence, (fka) Natal University (NU), Durban; Bosmont, Johannesburg.
1981: Exhibition, University of Durban- Westville (UDW), Durban.
1980: You Have Struck a Rock: Women and Resistance in South Africa, Emmanuel Cathedral Hall, Durban; Cape Town; Johannesburg.
1978: Some South African Photographers, Durban Municipal Art Gallery (DMAG), Durban.
1972: Omar Badsha, Mahomed Timol and Duke Ketye, (fka) Natal Society of Arts (NSA), Durban.
1972: Natal Contemporary Art, Durban Municipal Art Gallery (DMAG), Durban.
1971: Omar Badsha and Wiseman Mbambo, (fka) Natal Society of Arts (NSA), Durban.
1971: Omar Badsha, David Cremer, D. Wilmot., Nuffield Arcade, Durban.
1971: Arts South Africa Today, Durban Municipal Art Gallery (DMAG), Durban.
1968: NSA Annual Members Exhibition, (fka) Natal Society of Arts (NSA), Durban.
1966: Artists of Fame and Promise, Adler Fielding Gallery, Johannesburg.
1966: Trans Natal Group, (fka) Natal Society of Arts (NSA), Durban.
1965: Art South Africa Today, Durban Municipal Art Gallery (DMAG), Durban.

Group Exhibitions (international)


2009: South-South: Interruptions & Encounters, Justina M.Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, Toronto.
2006: Exhibition, University of De Quilmes, Argentina.
2006: Black Brown White: Photography from South Africa, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna.
2005: Two Lenses – Two Visions – One Experience, The Museo de La Ciudad, Cuernavaca.
2004: Exhibition, Oman.
2002: Amulets and Dreams: War, Youth and Change in Africa, Schmitt Academic Center (SAC), DePaul University, Chicago.
2002: Shooting Resistance, Axis Gallery, New York.
2000: Portrat Afrika, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
2000: African Identities Conference, Adelaide University, Australia.
1993: Images from Africa, African Arts Festival, Denmark.
1990: Omar Badsha, David Goldblatt and David Lurie, Portfolio Gallery, London.
1990: South Africa: Beyond the Barricades, Zabalala Festival, London; Paris; New York.
1988: Exhibition, Alternative Museum, New York.
1988: Children on the Frontline, Symposium on the Survival and Development of Children in the Frontline States and Southern Africa, Harare.
1987: The Hidden Camera, Culture in Another South Africa (CASA) Festival, Amsterdam.
1985: South Africa: Cordoned Heart, International Centre for Photography, New York; Photographers Gallery, London.
1984: Nichts Wird Uns Trennen (Nothing Will Separate Us): South African Photography and Apartheid, Römerhallen, Council of Arts Frankfurt, Frankfurt; Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; Palais Palffy, Austrian Society for Cultural Development, Vienna; and many more European cities.
1983: Omar Badsha and Peter Mackenzie, Botswana National Gallery, Gaborone.
1982: Culture and Resistance Conference, Gaborone.

Curatorial Projects


2003: FREEDOMza, (South African History Online- SAHO, and the Department of Education), Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.
2002 - 2010: Bonani Africa Photography Festival (South African History Online- SAHO), Museum Africa, Johannesburg; Pretoria Art Gallery, Pretoria; South African Museum, Castle of Good Hope, and other venues, Cape Town.
2002: Amulets and Dreams: War, Youth and Change in Africa, Schmitt Academic Center (SAC), DePaul University, Chicago.
2000: With our own Hands: Fighting Poverty in South Africa, University of South Africa (UniSA), Pretoria.
1988: Children on the Frontline, Symposium on the Survival and Development of Children in the Frontline States and Southern Africa, Harare.
1984 - 1985: South Africa: Cordoned Heart, Carnegie Conference, University of Cape Town, Cape Town; International Centre for Photography, New York; Photographers Gallery, London.
1983 - 1987: Staffrider Exhibitions (with Paul Weinberg, 1983 – 1987), Market photo Gallery, Johannesburg.

Collections


Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
Killie Campbell Collections, Durban.
National Gallery of Botswana, Gaborone.
University of Cape Town, Cape Town.

Awards


1996: Awarded scholarship to travel in India by Indian Government.
1995: Awarded scholarship to travel and photograph in Denmark by Danish government.
1993: First prize, Images of Africa, African Arts Festival, Denmark.
1979: First prize, The Sir Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Award, Art South Africa Today.
1968: Annual award, Natal Society of Arts.
1965: The Sir Basil Schonland Award, Art South Africa Today.

Other Involvement


1990 - 1994: Participated in numerous conferences related to his activity in the African National Congress.
1970 - 1990: Participated in activities of the Natal Indian Congress, and United Democratic Front.
1988 - 1996 Active in Cultural Workers' Movement, including Cultural Workers' Congress, Federation of South African Cultural Organisations, Arts & Culture Development Network, and Ikapa Arts Trust.
1982 - 1989: Founding member, Afrapix Photographers' Collective.
1972 - 1976: Trade Union Movement involvement.

Publications (edited or written by Omar Badsha)


2002: Omar Badsha (ed.), Julia Maxted (author), Amulets and Dreams: war, youth and change in Africa, South African History Online & Institute for Security Studies, UNISA Press, Pretoria. ISBN:9781868882304
2002: Omar Badsha (ed.), With Our Own Hands: Alleviating poverty in South Africa, Department of Public Works. ISBN: 0-620-26994-4
2001: Omar Badsha, Imperial Ghetto: A Way of Seeing in a South african City, South African History Online. ISBN: 9780620270564
1986: Omar Badsha (ed.), Francis Wilson (author), South Africa: The Cordoned Heart. Twenty South African Photographers, Gallery Press, Cape Town & W.W. Norton and Co., New York. ISBN-13: 978-0393303353
1985: Heather Hughes, Omar Badsha (eds), Imijondolo – A Photographic Essay on Forced Removals in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, Afrapix. 
1984: Omar Badsha & Roy Padayachee (eds), 90 Fighting Years. A Photographic History of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC).
1978: Omar Badsha, Letter to Farzanah, Institute of Black Research, Durban. ISBN: 9780620040495

Publications (on Omar Badsha's work)


2011: Patricia Hayes, Seeing and Being Seen: Politics, Arts and Everyday in Omar Badsha’s Durban Photography, 1960-1980, Africa: The Journal of The International African Institute 81(4): 544-66.
1989: Iris Tillman Hill & Alex Harris (eds), Beyond The Barricades: Popular Resistance in South Africa. Photographs by Twenty South African Photographers, Aperture Books in association with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, New York .

Links

Imijonjolo, Omar Badsha

© South African History Online
 

Letter to Farzanah, Omar Badsha

© South African History Online