MOPP - A social experiment

“The city is the space of the imagining of an identity and belonging that exits in the face of exclusionary practices ideologised through an appeal to ethnic tradition” writes critic Rory Bester in his analysis of contemporary street photography in At Home in the City. A Question of Citizenship.

It is appropriate then that this year’s Month of People's Photography (MOPP) interrogates the relationship between the city and citizenship, space and identity, homelessness and belonging through the theme Home Sweet Street. Appropriate because, since its inception back in 2005, MOPP has set out to subvert the “exclusionary practises” still at work in the Cape Town art scene by messing with the formula and doing things “Cape Flats style”. For MOPP that translate into a completely inclusive, community-orientated photographic festival that presents art at street-level.
Don’t think that “inclusive”, “community-orientated” and “street-level” mean a lack of intelligent, high quality photographic work. As event founder Abdul Moses once noted, “Within our collective, there are ‘happy snappy’ photographers who have pulled off images that are as strong as David Goldblatt’s.”

This year, smart “snappers” undermining the status quo include everyone from Canadian born, Parker Mah who flattens the West’s global hegemony with images of Cape Town, Nagoya, Fes, Lisbon and other “great urban centres of the world”, to Zipho Nkosi Dayile from the Gugulective who destabilises stereotyped views of “township photography”. Venues are equally far flung with MOPP’s Café Circuit taking place in bars, café’s and shops, from the trendy Neo in Moulle Point, to indie-disco East City nightclub Assembly, the grungy Mr. Pickwick in Long Street, the down to earth Don Pedro’s in Woodstock and many more. Visit the MOPP wiki

( or check out their blog ( for details.

One Comment

the blind camera said...

Thanks for the mention but I was born in Canada!

-Parker Mah

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