Photo Book Reading Club: House of Bondage

06:30pm - 07:30pm, Fri 05 Jul 2024

A group discussion looking at Ernest Cole's publication House of Bondage, 1967

Partial spread of a book featuring photographs and text

Photo Book Reading Club: House of Bondage

6:30pm, Fri 05 Jul 2024

A group discussion looking at Ernest Cole's publication House of Bondage, 1967

This session, facilitated by Sarah Kenrick, is an opportunity to engage with and discuss Ernest Cole's groundbreaking book House of Bondage as a group.

First published in 1967, Ernest Cole’s House of Bondage has been lauded as one of the most significant photobooks of the twentieth century, revealing the horrors of apartheid to the world for the first time and influencing generations of photographers around the globe.

Cole, a Black South African man, photographed the underbelly of apartheid in the 1950s and ’60s, often at great personal risk. He methodically captured the myriad forms of violence embedded in everyday life for the Black majority under the apartheid system—picturing its miners, its police, its hospitals, its schools. In 1966, Cole fled South Africa and smuggled out his negatives; House of Bondage was published the following year with his writings and first-person account.

Copies of the original 1967 Random House edition of the book will be available, alongside Aperture's 2022 reissue which features an added chapter—compiled and titled “Black Ingenuity” by Cole—of never-before-seen photographs of Black creative expression and cultural activity taking place under apartheid. 

By booking for this event, you agree to The Photographers' Gallery's Terms & Conditions.

About Sarah Kenrick

After an extensive career in lens-based media as both a practitioner and a teacher, Sarah Kenrick is embarking on a PhD in photography. Passionate about socially engaged practice, she is particularly interested in our encounters with photobooks and their place within the wider ecosystem of photography.