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Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography for 2006

09/03/2006 On the same day that the Victor Hasselblad Centenary celebrations were being held, the prizewinner of the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography for 2006 was also announced. This year it was the photographer David Goldblatt.

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The citation in conjunction with the decision was as follows:
"David Goldblatt‘s work is a life long observation of the social and political developments within South African society. He has been concerned to explore the relationship between individual subjects and the structures within which they live. His interest in the violent history of his country, and his awareness of the symbolic significance of architecture, form an extraordinary statement both personal and socio-political. Photography, in the words of David Goldblatt, reveals “something of the subtlety and ambiguity of our shifting and frequently contradictory perceptions of reality.” His acute historical and political perception provides a sense of the texture of daily life, and an important piece of missing information regarding life under apartheid in South Africa." 

A farmer’s son with his nursemaid, Heimweeberg, Marico Bushveld. 1964 © David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt has been photographing South Africa for over 50 years now, exploring with a critical view the context in which evolve both the life of its people and the construction of its landscape. For Goldblatt, photography is an instrument that allows him to analyze the social and cultural structures of his country, making possible to sketch a documented and testimonial journey of the evolution of colonialism and apartheid.

Almost all of Goldblatt’s photographs have different layers of interpretation through which the viewers, according to their experience and previous knowledge, unravel a tale. Indeed, behind each one of Goldblatt’s images there are several stories, most of them related to vital questions, which affect in a direct or tangential way the values by which the country moved and moves.

In the last fifteen years the photographs of David Goldblatt have been exhibited around Europe, the United States, Australia and South Africa. He has also published nearly a dozen books. Log onto the Hasselblad Foundation website for further details