Ivor Markman

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Ivor Markman (1949-) is a freelance photographer, socio-cultural historian and writer in Port Elizabeth.


Ivor was born in Port Elizabeth and attended both the Grey Junior and Grey High Schools. He did art for matric and developed an absolute passion for history thanks to Alex Kiddie, his history of art teacher. While at school he helped in the building of sets for Caught Napping and Spider's Web, the school's annual stage productions.

Did his 9-months compulsory military training in Voortrekkerhoogte in 1969 and completed his Certificate in Graphic Design at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, between 1970/72.

In 1973 he was employed in Johannesburg as one the first group of people to be trained for the startup of SABC TV. After five years he moved on and did some freelance photography for the Eastern Province Herald before moving to Cape Town where he worked as a press photographer at the Argus for one year before moving on to the Cape Times from 1981 till March 1986. During this period he would often photograph stage productions and prominent theatre personalities. After being named as the 1984 'South African Press Photographer of the Year' he moved at first to Florida, USA, before moving to Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe, California where he lived and worked as a photographer for a total of 10 years. Although it was not his main work, he also photographed some prominent film actors, including Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Cosby, during this period.

It was a great experience but with the advent of democracy in 1995, he was happy to return to the land of sunshine, braais and boerewors.

Upon his return, from May 1995 until his retirement in September 2011, he worked as a senior photojournalist for AVUSA, (The Herald, Weekend Post). He worked the History / Heritage beat - which he absolutely loved.

In 2011 he created Ivor Markman Journalism Services, and since then has been writing, undertaking historical research, regularly contributing to various Wikipedia articles, and taking news, sport, travel and wildlife photographs. In 2017, at the request of the [Port Elizabeth Opera House]] he created an exhibition about the history of theatre in Port Elizabeth titled "Bards of the Bay". It was while doing the research for this exhibition that he discovered the Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance (ESAT). After making contact with Temple Hauptfleisch he became a contributor to this website.

Now a man of leisure, enjoying life, researching history, and doing whatever he feels like doing but working harder than ever before.

Contribution to South African theatre, film, media and performance

In view of his cultural-historical interests he has two websites on cultural life in Port Elizabeth, one on St George's Park (http://www.stgeorgespark.nmmu.ac.za/content/contactus/) and the other on the Mannville Open-air Theatre (http://ivormarkman0.wixsite.com/mannville)

He has a third website http://ivormarkman.wixsite.com/photojournalism which contains examples of his professional photojournalism.

In 2018 he became a contributing editor to the Encyclopaedia of South African Theatre, Film, Media and Performance (ESAT), mainly adding material on theatre and performance in Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape.

Awards, etc

He was named South African Press Photographer of the Year in 1984.





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