Goodbye Top Star, Hello Alberton

#153. Watch Times photographer Marianne Schwankhart’s farewell to one of Johannesburg’s best known landmarks – The Top Star Drive-In. While the Top Star hasn’t operated for the past four years it will be the end of an era when you drive around the city centre from the east and don’t see that enormous movie screen rising above you on one of the city’s mine dumps.

Continue reading

African photography

#123. Lament the passing of Ricardo Rangel. The man considered to be Mozambique’s greatest contemporary photographer died on June 11. Eleven years ago this month I first saw Rangel’s work when a friend gave me a book of African photography as a wedding present, In/Sight African Photographers, 1940 to the Present (Guggenheim). Through the book I was introduced to the work of Rangel as well as Mali’s Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibe, Cameroonian Samuel Fosso and Drum magazine’s Bob Gosani, among others.

© Ricardo Rangel, In the embrace of the night, 1970.

© Ricardo Rangel, In the embrace of the night, 1970.

Continue reading

On show at Gallery Momo

#112. Enjoy Patricia Driscoll’s mesmerising seascape — in a landlocked city where the beach is just a memory and the pavements are strewn with autumn leaves that crunch under your feet.


Lekki Beach, Lagos. 2009.

“I love shooting these seascapes. The twilight time between day and night and night and day is ambiguous and interesting. The pictures are very much contingent on natural conditions. For instance, it was raining hard in Lagos at Lekki beach. I took the photographs very early in the morning (around 4.30am) under an umbrella. The quality of the twilight was so soft and diffused that it gave the photo a distinct and unique feel”.

“The history of the beach has meaning for me. So much has happened on these shorelines: drowning, religious ceremonies and rituals, suicides, battles, crime, fun, romantic interludes and floods.  The sea washes the evidence of human activity away. The endless cycle of the sea is repeated. And my photographs mirror these loops and repetitions.” — Patricia Driscoll.

* Driscoll’s work will be exhibited at Joburg’s chic-est contemporary art gallery, Gallery MOMO, from June 11. Gallery MOMO is at 52 7th Avenue, Parktown North. To contact the gallery call +27 11 327 3247, or e-mail