‘Sometimes photographs annihilate memory’ from Double Negative

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A lunch-hour, Pretoria Street, Hilbrow, 1966. (Courtesy The David Goldblatt Legacy Trust and Goodman Gallery.)
A lunch-hour, Pretoria Street, Hilbrow, 1966. (Courtesy The David Goldblatt Legacy Trust and Goodman Gallery.)

Published in 2011,  Ivan Vladislavic's novel Double Negative follows a young man who after establishing his career overseas comes back to South Africa to find a changed Johannesburg. Through his relationship with a seasoned photorapher, the young man's perspective on democratised South Africa widens into questions about perceiving and being perceived. 

Considering the documentation of a country attempting to transition from white supremist rule, Vladislavic brings the difficulty of depicting South Africa to the fore. 

Below is an excerpt from the book. 

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