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Gauteng in the Spotlight at Documentary Photography Exhibition

A new exhibition brings a fresh crop of Gauteng-based creators of documentary photography into the spotlight, including HL favourite Musa Nxumalo.

Documentary Photography | House and Leisure
An image by Amanda van der Walt forms part of 'Urban Gaze', an exhibition organised by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO).


Documentary photography sheds much-needed light on the world around us. So the news that a dynamic group of photographers is shedding light on the subtle complexities of Gauteng – South Africa’s most densely populated, and culturally diverse province – is most welcome.

The 'Urban Gaze' exhibition showcases the Gauteng-based entrants and winners of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) Urban Gaze photography competition, and opens the door to some well- and lesser-known names in the local photography scene. 

The exhibition takes place in the atrium of the Trumpet Building in the Keyes Art Mile, and features documentary photography from across the competition’s categories: Histories and Futures, Place and Movement, Economy and Economic Life, Sustainability and the Environment, and A Province and Its People.

The beautiful and often moving images appear alongside the work of South African photographer Musa Nxumalo, whose portraiture and urban lanscapes capture a side of Gauteng that many don’t see.  

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Documentary Photography | House and Leisure
Another image of Gauteng by Amanda van der Walt, on exhibition at 'Urban Gaze'.
Documentary Photography | House and Leisure
A nightscape by Gareth Pon captures the lights of the Johannesburg CBD. 


The photography of entrant Amanda van der Walt captures the dusty reds so typical of the highveld – a stark contrast to the glitzy nightscapes captured by Gareth Pon. Genevieve Woodley, similarly, offers a near-romantic glimpse into the industrial scenes of Gauteng, so often relegated to the outskirts of the province, which is the economic hub of the country.

Mikey Rosato also offers a startling view into the corrugated-iron homes of Gauteng, whose basic accomodations offer shelter for many of the city’s residents, and contributes another thread to the conversation about Gauteng’s diverse architectural landscape. 

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Documentary Photography | House and Leisure
Industrial scenes form part of the subject matter of Genevieve Woodley's photographs.


'GCRO is passionate about the Gauteng City-Region and its people, and we are privileged to showcase this set of photographs, taken by people who live in this extraordinary place,' says Dr Rob Moore, executive director of the GCRO. 'The "Urban Gaze" competition invites us to see the city-region through the eyes of its residents, to document both what is familiar and what is strange, to illuminate the unseen, and to make visible the contradictions of our urban society.'

The exhibition will remain open until 30 June 2019. 

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