Student 2020

Philadelphia Mahlambanyane Makwakwa


Philadelphia is a womanist, writer, photography and documentary journalist, human rights defender and activist.

She was born in Louis Trichardt then raised and still living in Daveyton, Benoni. Shades of a Woman is her pseudo name. As Shades she portrays the plurality in which she depicts her work so as to signal the similarity between her previous and present encounters with people, socio-economic/human rights situations she finds herself in. This further, stimulates her creativity to write or photograph as a storyteller and to critique and reappraise to archive a virtual history of black excellence and anguish.

As Shades she is relatively obscure in her retirement to question the self to explore her work, to open her collective history and contribute to the ensuring of a preservation of Black lives in history. Thus, to document the continuation of Black rebellion and emancipation from a decade of oppression.

Makwakwa has a BA journalism and communication from the University of Johannesburg, as well as a joint BA honours in Media Studies and Intergrated Organisational Communication from the University of South Africa. She is currently studying at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, doing the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme.
May 2020