On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the photographic program Of Soul and Joy conducted by Rubis Mécénat in the township of Thokoza, south-east of Johannesburg in South Africa, the endowment fund has invited two South African photographers involved in the project, Jabulani Dhlamini and Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo, to present in France a new photographic work that has been elaborated in close collaboration on the theme of memory.

As part of the PhotoSaintGermain festival and with curator Valérie Fougeirol, the two photographers, who met as mentor and student, have decided to bring their perspectives together at the point where personal memory and trauma intersect. Jabulani went back to the countryside of his childhood, and to Warden in particular, a landscape which is imbued with the emotional words of generations of transmitters of history. For his part, Thembinkosi returned to the family tavern where memories of violence are transformed into ghosts embedded in the walls and in objects-presences replayed in apparitions which are captured, scratched and burned. The exhibition iHubo* – Whispers with its two complementary facets, is built around memories which resurface – past and present, in colour and in black and white – the traces of personal stories which intersect and intermingle, so that it can exist in the Present.


Jabulani Dhlamini (b. 1983, Free State, South Africa) lives and works in Johannesburg. He graduated in documentary photography at the Vaal University of Technology in 2010 and he is an alumni fellow of the Edward Ruiz Mentorship programme at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg. His Umama series was exhibited at the Market Photo Workshop in 2012, and at Goodman Gallery Cape Town in 2013. His Recaptured series, exhibited at Goodman Gallery in 2016 is a project conducted over several years with the Sharpeville community, around the massacre that occurred in the township in 1960. In 2018, his work was shown in the group exhibition Five Photographers, A Tribute to David Goldblatt at the Gerard Sakoto Gallery at the Alliance Française of Johannesburg, and in 2019 at the Centro Cultural Franco-Mozambicano (Mozambique), National Arts Festival and Durban Art Gallery (South Africa), and the Bamako Encounters (Mali). In 2020, he co-founded the Umhlabathi collective which brings together 8 South African artists and photographers. His work focuses on his upbringing while also reflecting on various communities within contemporary South Africa. Dhlamini’s approach is meditative and subtly provokes a closer look at what lies on the edges through an exploration of personal and collective memory.

Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo (b. 1993, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa) joined the Of Soul and Joy project in 2016. He is a fellow of the 2019 Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in photography of the Market Photo Workshop, from which he graduated in 2018, and benefits within this frame of the mentorship of John Fleetwood, curator and founder of the Photo: plateform, and presented his work in a solo show at the Market Photo Workshop in 2020. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious CAP Prize and his Slaghuis series was featured in the group exhibition Before the Night at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. In 2020, Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo exhibited his work at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair with the Of Soul and Joy project. In 2021, he participates in the group exhibition Inganekwane at Constitution Hill (Johannesburg, 2021) and NWU Gallery (Potchefstroom, 2022). He is one of the 75 artists selected for the 13th edition of the Rencontres de Bamako (Mali) in 2022.