Williamson, Sue


South African, b. 1941; lives and works in Cape Town


Sue Williamson dedicated her series A Few South Africans (1983–1987) to raising the visibility of seventeen female activists and expanding views of the past. She reproduced, in photo etching, the photographs of anti-apartheid heroines to create a procession of honorable women. These included singer and activist Miriam Makeba, as well as Helen Joseph, who read out the clauses of the new Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People at Kliptown, and was among the leaders of the 1956 march of 20,000 women to Pretoria protesting the discriminatory and racist pass laws which limited the rights and movements of all non-white people during apartheid. Incorporating their monochrome or sepia images into richly patterned screen-printed and collaged backgrounds that evoke African textiles and cloths, Williamson framed her subjects in a feminized and flattened space that speaks to the wider context in which their lives took shape.

Artworks by Williamson, Sue

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