SAR, Vol 9, No 4, March 1994
On January 9, Abdul Shariff, many of whose photos we have used in SAR, was shot in the back and killed while covering an ANC delegation visit to Katlehong near Johannesburg. A member of the Impact Visuals co-operative, Shariff was hit by fire from a hostel occupied by Inkatha supporters and apparently directed at Cyril Ramaphosa and Joe Slovo. A native of Johannesburg, Shariff is known for documenting the violence and oppression of apartheid, often focusing on the perspective of township residents and black workers. He had worked for Impact Visuals for three years, originally as part of the photo collective Afrapix. From his early documentary projects for activist student publications, the Natal Indian Congress and the UDF, Shariff's photography in the last few years has appeared regularly in South Africa, Europe, Canada and the US, in major news publications that include The Weekly Mail, Der Spiegel, Newsweek and the New York Times, as well as our own. "I see my pictures contributing to the documentation of our history," he wrote recently. Shariff had fought against apartheid all his life, starting with the student political movement while in high school, where he was a coordinator of the nationwide school boycotts.
In Shariff's memory, a fund has been established to provide a grant for South African documentary photographers from needy backgrounds. Tax deductible donations can be made payable to "The Africa Fund," noting "Abdul Shariff Fund" on the cheque, and sent to: The Abdul Shariff Memorial Fund, c/o The Africa Fund, 198 Broadway, New York, NY 10038, USA.
- 30 -
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s) and not do necessarily reflect the views of the AfricaFiles' editors and network members. They are included in our material as a reflection of a diversity of views and a variety of issues. Material written specifically for AfricaFiles may be edited for length, clarity or inaccuracies.