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PCA Talks Presents: John Fleetwood

Riti Sengupta
Cover image by Riti Sengupta (One of the winners of 2020 "Blurring the Lines")

On November 10th, 2020 at 6:30 pm CET, PCA Talks met with curator, educator and director of Photo: John Fleetwood to talk about photography.

You can watch the video of the online talk below or directly on our Youtube channel, here.


A Commitment to Understand: Different photography worlds as a way to understand education and photography modes and contexts.

We photograph at moments of great excitement: the urgencies of our times. What is it that we can see when things are heightened, uncertain and unsure? What is it that we cannot see during the mundane: the times of the ordinary? And what happens when these urgencies slip into our mundane?

Photography worlds are constructed around visual cultures; built around modes and contexts to make sense of the world. Can Covid-19 bring us a new commitment to understand. We look at specific historical contexts, and how these mark the developments of traditions and conventions in meaning-making.

John Fleetwood is a curator, educator and director of Photo:, a multi-operation platform for the development and promotion of socially engaged photography practices, photographers and critical visual culture. Johannesburg, South Africa.

Fleetwood has curated numerous exhibitions including recently ‘Five Photographers: A tribute to David Goldblatt’ (Johannesburg, Maputo, Maseru, Makhanda, Durban, Bamako; 2018-2019); ‘Of traps and tropes’ (Kerkennah, Tunisia; 2018); ‘Against time’ (Bamako; 2015); ‘A Return to Elsewhere’(Johannesburg, Brighton Photo Biennale; 2014); ‘Transition’ (Johannesburg, Arles; 2012-2013). In 2017, he was guest editor for Aperture’s ‘Platform Africa’ edition.

As educator and strategist, through Photo:, he has facilitated, organised and supported a range of different education interventions, activities and organisations. He convenes democraSEE, an award and mentorship programme for Southern African photographers. Fleetwood works closely with the Centres of Learning for Photography in Africa and other institutions of education.

Fleetwood acts in various capacities in the following projects:

Nominator, Prix Pictet Award, since 2016

Nominator, Paul Huf Award, since 2017

Nominator, Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo, since 2009

Jury member for the CAP Prize, International Prize for Contemporary African Photography, since 2014

Jury member, Pride Photo Award, 2016, 2018