Mavis Mtandeki is one of the first black South African women photographers. Having worked as a domestic worker in the white suburbs of Cape Town for many years, Mtandeki quit her job in 1989 to attend a one-year media course at the politically motivated Community Arts Project. Here, Mtandeki learned how to photograph and started to document the lives of the women surrounding her. Thereby, she captured not only the political transformation of the country and the transition of the women’s organisations from the United Women’s Congress to the African National Congress Women’s League but also the difficult and dangerous relocation of numerous women from KTC to Tambo Village. As the premier settlement financed by the new government after the first free elections in 1994, Tambo Village stands as a testimony of the women’s defiance and their political claim on land and houses.
This book tells the history of these courageous women captured through the lens of Mavis Mtandeki.