Interlocutor/halfie: Dr George Mahashe on being a Molobedu, an artist and an academic
George was born and raised in Bolobedu in the rural north eastern part of Limpopo Province in South Africa. He first practiced photography as an assistant to a local itinerant photographer before going on to study for a BTech degree in photography. After working as a lecturer and practitioner in commercial photography his awareness of the implications of photography as a colonial representational practice led him into studying the intersections between anthropology, photography and fine arts practice culminating in a PhD in Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town. George used the space offered by PhD research to imagine the concept of khelobedu, from his own point of view, as a member of an African community whose knowledge practices have been studied and marginalised by the colonial academy. Using a combination of unorthodox methods, notably travel and the practice of "ill-discipline", within more established methods such as fine arts play and the participant observation techniques of anthropology, his PhD research challenges the western representational emphasis in photography while employing the film essay and developments of the camera obscure to recognise the dream as a Balodedu technology that can foreground Balobedu subjectivity.
The text of George's UCT PhD, MaBareBare, a rumour of a dream:
AiL mini-documentary on George at Geneva Observatory: https://vimeo.com/56660581