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Zwelethu Mthethwa (South African, born 1960)
Mthethwa was born in Durban, South Africa, during the apartheid regime. Despite laws prohibiting black students from studying at the University of Cape Town, Mthethwa gained a place on its photography course under special ministerial consent. In 1987 he won a Fulbright Scholarship allowing him to study Imagining Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. Since the fall of the apartheid regime in 1994, photography in South Africa has exploded and Mthethwa has been a central figure in its development. His photographs are characterised by their large, often strictly composed format, balanced by an incredible sense of colour - a feature which is very important to the artist. The subject matter is focussed on the economic and political reality of contemporary South Africa.