Jürgen Schadeberg

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Jürgen Schadeberg (1931-2020). Photographer and editor.


In 1950, he moved to South Africa to rejoin his family. Schadeberg was forced to leave South Africa in 1964 and went to London, later moved to Spain, worked in Botswana and Tanzania and in 1984 he returned to South Africa. He continues to work as a photo-journalist as well as making documentaries about the black community. He died in Spain on 29 August 2020 at the age of 89.


In 1951 he found employment on Drum magazine as official photographer and layout artist. As picture editor of Drum magazine he recorded life in South Africa, and notably in the black townships over more than forty years.

Jurgen photographed pivotal moments in the lives of South Africans in the fifties. These photographs represent the life and struggle of South Africans during Apartheid and include important figures in South Africa’s history.

His images of township life in Sophiatown and other areas are the quinessential images of the fifties and sixties, and inspired numerous photographers, plays and films. His role as documentor of the work from this time (e.g. the Finest Photos from the Old Drum - 1987 and The Fifties People of South Africa - 1987) has also been hugely important. The photographs have been used as set material in numerous films and stage plays.


South African History Online [1].

Wikipedia [2].

Jürgen Schadeberg [3].

Numerous entries in the NELM catalogue.

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