A project that reflects on the lives of influential individuals who have shaped South Africa, and continue to symbolise the dreams and hopes for our Nation. A team of enthusiasts joined forces to photograph and capture some of these legendary icons.
Film maker and photographer Adrian Steirn was the man behind the camera, but it was a complete team project that contributed to the essence of the final product: 21 Icons.
Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Desmond Tutu, Sophia Williams De Bruyn, Kumi Naidoo, Lillian Cingo, Nadine Gordimer, Ahmed Kathrada, George Bizos, Hugh Masekela, Johnny Clegg, Helen Sebidi, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Gary Player, William Kentridge, Philip Tobias, Evelina Tshabalala, John Kani, Zackie Achmat, Karel Benadie, Gcina Mhlope.
Each shot is a portrait that aims to tell the story of the focal individual. Shots where taken in familiar or representational spaces of the iconic person. The launch of the project was a weekly insert in the Sunday Times. The project is now on Exhibition at the Museum of African Design (MOAD) in the Maboneng Precinct (City and Suburban).
I believe in the stories that individuals have to tell. It’s these stories that enable humans to conceptualise the world, understand people’s actions and decisions. They provide a new lens and insights in which we perhaps would never have seen or understood. Our stories are powerful. I really appreciated the 21 Icons exhibitions for this reason. These stories have contributed to my life as a South African, some more than others, and that’s significant.
“I tell stories in order to wake up stories in other people, because I truly believe that every thing living being has a story to tell.” Gcina Mhlope.
The MOAD is an ideal venue, empty and simple. The exhibition is literally underground, which leaves viewers to be encapsulated by the works before them. The exhibition runs from the 16 June – 17 August.
Images courtesy of 21 Icons.