Mpho Masupe, Katse Dam, Lesotho, 2015

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Size Guide


While photographing a group of herders, I looked down to check a setting on my camera, and this kid appeared before me in a hat fashioned from a Bearded Vulture.

A photograph David Goldblatt made always seemed to be posed, although he preferred not to alter what was in front of his camera. When I asked him if he'd moved the central subject and directed his pose, he replied, 'Of Course! You are the master.' Coming from Mr. Objektiv, this imperative surprised me.

I asked Mpho to assume the pose that you see here. The cloak was not my doing; his friends behind me had made him up while I was looking into the valley.

I undertook three trips to Lesotho before feeling comfortable photographing these young herders. At the end of every day, I printed photographs for each Masotho in the local hotel and then returned to my car, where I slept. When I return to these villages, the photos are prized because they are bent and worn.

This photo forms part of a long-form project designed to demystify the story around the massive water reticulation system that links the Lesotho Highlands to Gauteng and Johannesburg.

When the infrastructure's genesis and current functionality are scrutinised cracks appear. It becomes apparent that the project's genesis and the way in which it works now had and have little or no regard for the impoverished herders who live on the reservoirs. In addition, water shortages and resource scarcity will exert more pressure on the Basotho on the Katse Dam.

Unframed Archival inkjet on Bartya Paper

L 105 x 84 cm edition 5+1 a/p

M 75 x 60 cm edition of 3+1 a/p

S 52 x 42 cm edition 3+1 a/p