Stellenbosch Academy came to visit

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STELLENBOSCH ACADEMY OF PHOTOGRAPHY POPPED IN FOR A VISIT

We received a call from the academy, inquiring whether Gavin Furlonger could lead their photography class for an afternoon. His task was to discuss the significance of archiving, cataloging, and preserving one’s own work.

To add an unexpected twist, we arranged for a surprise guest visitor: Alan Shaller. We politely asked if he would be willing to engage with the class as well. Alan’s presence turned out to be delightful, and the visiting class thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Continuing the legacies of our photographers.

We love having visitors over, it keeps us inspired to continue the legacies of the photographers whose works are on our walls.

Here, Gavin leads the university class through a tour of the gallery.

We asked Alan Schaller if he wouldn’t mind surprising the class with a brief chat about finding inspiration, and sticking with it. Choosing a niche you are inspired by, persevering through the hard times, and how he came about being well known in the photography industry.

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Juhan Kuus – The Kaapse Klopse

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group of men posing for the camera, all are having a good time.

THE KAAPSE KLOPSE

He possessed a certain manner that inspired trust in his subjects, granting him the privilege to capture the intimate and up-close photographs you now behold.

A man with all kinds of connections.

Juhan was well known for mixing it with all kinds of Cape Towns locals. Being the inquisitive person he was, he would often befriend and get close to alot of the subjects he used to shoot for his stories. He had a way about him, that his subjects would trust him and allow him to take the very photos you see of his, up close and personal. A classic picture above, Juhan spending some quality time with a group of Kaapse Klopse or better known as the Cape Minstrels.

In the years following 1994, South Africa has gained recognition for its rich cultural diversity and heritage. In the vibrant tourist city of Cape Town, one notable expression of this diversity is the annual Minstrel Festival, which occurs on January 1st every year, known as Tweede Nuwe Jaar (Second New Year).

During this festival, thousands of people dressed in colourful attire parade through Cape Town’s streets as part of organized Klopse (troupes). They entertain the crowd through singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. The Minstrel Festival has become an integral part of Cape Town’s popular culture, and understanding its history and significance within the broader context of South African history is essential.

Read more about the Kaapse Klopse here: https://www.capetownmagazine.com/kaapse-klopse


Man singing as part of the group of Cape Minstrels.
Man singing as part of the group of Cape Minstrels.
group of Cape Minstrels, signing and dancing together.
group of Cape Minstrels, signing and dancing together.

During the late 1990s, Kuus immersed himself in the vibrant world of the Cape Minstrels. These colorful and spirited performers, with their flamboyant costumes and lively music, captivated him. He spent countless hours documenting their lives, parades, and celebrations. His lens captured the essence of their culture, the rhythm of their songs, and the joy that radiated from their performances.

In 2001, Kuus unveiled his photographic series titled “Cape Minstrels Carnival”. The collection showcased the exuberance, resilience, and rich heritage of the community. Each photograph was a testament to their spirit, their history, and their place in South African society.

The images revealed the intricate details of their costumes—the sequins, feathers, and bold colors that adorned their outfits. Kuus’s lens also captured the sweat on their brows as they danced and sang through the streets of Cape Town. These were not just photographs; they were visual narratives that transported viewers into the heart of the carnival.


Cape Minstrels queuing behind a broken down car
Two women cheering on the Cape Mintrels sitting in a bus.
group of cape minstrels in a bus on their way to the event.
group of cape minstrels in a bus playing instruments on their way to the event.
three cape minstrels laughing at each other
Close up photo of two cape minstrels singing. Both are missing their front teeth.
crowd of by standers cheering on the cape minstrels.
Man painted in white crossing the photo whilst by standers cheer him on behind.
two kids smiling with their faces painted.
lady like man smiling for the camera, dressed in cape minsttrel clothing.

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Juhan Kuus – Christian Zion Church

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Man being baptised in river
Group of men baptising a man in the river in South Africa.

ZION CHRISTIAN CHURCH

Juhan spent a considerable amount of time going back and forth to document these gatherings and captured some truly remarkable images.


The ZCC, the largest and fastest-growing independent church in Africa during the 1990s, boasts an estimated 2 to 6 million members across 4,000 parishes. These devoted followers primarily reside in both urban townships and rural communities. The church is commonly referred to by its abbreviation, ZCC, pronounced as “zed-see-see.”

Juhan spent a considerable amount of time going back and forth to document these gatherings and captured some truly remarkable images.

Man dancing in the gravel infront of a group of men during a church ceremony.

Man dancing in the gravel infront of a group of men during a church ceremony.
Man in uniform posing for the camera in the infront of a group of men during a church ceremony.


portrait of a male journalist with a plaster and blood on his face.

Juhan Kuus

During the height of his career from 1986 to 2000, Juhan Kuus, from Estonian descent, served as the South African correspondent for the Paris and New York editorial offices of the renowned Sipa Press Agency. Founded in France in 1973, Sipa Press Agency was a prominent name in the world of journalism.

Kuus’s impactful works graced the pages of prestigious newspapers and journals globally, including The Times, The Independent, The New York Times, Paris Match, and The Los Angeles Times. His lens captured stories that resonated across borders, leaving an indelible mark on the field of photojournalism.


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District Six

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Kids playing on an abandoned car in District Six. Image taken by Juhan Kuus

DISTRICT SIX THROUGH THE EYES OF LOVE & PAIN

In District Six, cobblestone streets whispered secrets, laughter echoed off colorful facades, and love and pain danced an intricate tango. Memory’s lens captured it all—the joy of neighbors sharing stories over fragrant curries, the sorrow etched into weathered doorframes, and the ache of homes torn down. Graffiti murals defiantly preserved love, while pain seeped through cracked windows, aching for lost connections. District Six, a resilient canvas, bore witness to both community bonds and brutal displacement

About District Six

District Six, situated in Cape Town, derived its name from being the Sixth Municipal District in 1867. However, its earlier unofficial name was Kanaldorp, which supposedly originated from the network of canals crisscrossing the city. To reach District Six, one had to traverse some of these canals (with “kanaal” being the Afrikaans word for ‘canal’). Over time, the community also referred to it as Kanaladorp, possibly influenced by the Indonesian word for ‘please’ (kanala), resulting in a fusion of meanings.

Before its tragic destruction during the Apartheid era, District Six exemplified diversity on multiple fronts: language, religion, economic class, and geographical origin. It stood as a living testament to how diversity could strengthen a community rather than be a cause for fear. This vibrant neighborhood included freed slaves, merchants, artisans, laborers, and immigrants, all closely connected to the city and its port. In stark contrast to the Apartheid government’s narrative, District Six embodied unity and resilience, challenging the divisive beliefs they sought to instill after coming to power in 1948.

District Six, Dave Levin, 1968.
Woman leaving house in Bo Kaap, Cape Town street 1050s. Photo by Ginger Odes. Gallery F
Ginger Odes Fashion Shoot 1950’s

Paul Alberts, Ginger Odes, Juhan Kuus, Dave Levin, Gunther Komncik and Desmond Bowes Taylor—all armed with cameras—wandered through the vibrant streets of District Six. Their purpose? To engage with the community, capture its essence, and document its stories. District Six, before its heartbreaking destruction during the Apartheid era, was a microcosm of diversity. It transcended language, religion, economic class, and geographical origins. Within its boundaries, freed slaves, merchants, artisans, laborers, and immigrants coexisted, forming a rich tapestry of humanity.

District Six, Cape Town. 1970s. Suburb on the outskirts of Cape Town from which whole communities were forcably removed by the Apartheid government.
District Six, Cape Town. 1970s. Suburb on the outskirts of Cape Town from which whole communities were forcably removed by the Apartheid government.
Gallery F, photographer Gunther Komnick, Gavin Furlonger, Sean Furlonger, Cape Town Gallery, photography gallery, photography Cape Town, apartheid, Cape Town, Cape Town art gallery, journalism, South African journalism, press photography, street photography, Cape Town street photography, District Six photography
Gunther Komnick 1960’s

These photographers sought more than just images; they aimed to preserve memories. They documented the everyday lives, struggles, and resilience of the locals. Their lenses captured the spirit of a place that stood in stark contrast to the divisive ideology propagated by the Apartheid government. District Six was a living testament to the strength found in unity—a beacon of hope that challenged the oppressive narratives of the time.

Dave Levin, 1968.
Dave Levin, 1968.

Juhan Kuus, in particular, left an indelible mark. His photographs of the forced removals in District Six during the 1970s serve as haunting reminders of a community uprooted, homes demolished, and lives forever changed. Through their work, these photographers immortalized the soul of District Six, ensuring that its legacy endures even after its physical landscape was torn down.

Dave Levin, 1968.
Dave Levin, 1968.
Gallery F, Juhan Kuus, Gavin Furlonger, Sean Furlonger, Cape Town Gallery, photography gallery, photography Cape Town, apartheid, Cape Town, Cape Town art gallery, journalism, South African journalism, press photography, street photography, Cape Town street photography, District Six corner Street
District Six, Cape Town. 1970s. Suburb on the outskirts of Cape Town from which whole communities were forcably removed by the Apartheid government.
Gallery F, Juhan Kuus, Gavin Furlonger, Sean Furlonger, Cape Town Gallery, photography gallery, photography Cape Town, apartheid, Cape Town, Cape Town art gallery, journalism, South African journalism, press photography, street photography, Cape Town street photography, District Six corner Street
District Six, Cape Town. 1970s. Suburb on the outskirts of Cape Town from which whole communities were forcably removed by the Apartheid government.
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In conversation with Günther Komnick main

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Gallery F, photographer Gunther Komnick, Gavin Furlonger, Sean Furlonger, Cape Town Gallery, photography gallery, photography Cape Town, apartheid, Cape Town, Cape Town art gallery, journalism, South African journalism, press photography, street photography, Cape Town street photography, District Six photography

Günther Komnick tells us the story of how he left East Prussia as a kid.

A conversation between Gavin Furlonger & Günther Komnick at his house. He tells us the story of how he found his passion for photography and how it led him to South Africa.

” From there, we escaped after three years.”

Photographer Günther Komnick, born in 1929, weaves a captivating narrative that spans continents and epochs. His journey began in the tumultuous aftermath of World War II, as he bid farewell to his childhood home in East Prussia and embarked on a life-altering odyssey.

As a young boy, Günther’s experiences were marked by hardship and resilience. Interned in a Russian labor camp alongside his mother and younger sister, he witnessed the ravages of war firsthand. Amidst the grim conditions, he discovered an enduring appreciation for life’s simplest pleasures—a crust of bread, a shared potato soup—lessons that would shape his artistic sensibilities.

In the camp’s shadows, Günther honed his innate talent for capturing the essence of humanity. His haunting sketches depicted people teetering on the precipice of existence, their vulnerability etched into every line. Fear, survival instincts, and a keen eye for danger became his companions.

At eighteen, liberated from the camp, Günther embarked on a quest for self-discovery. His path led him from northern Germany to the Black Forest, where he initially aspired to become a sculptor. However, fate intervened when Joseph Bromberger, recognizing Günther’s latent potential, guided him toward lithography. The Bromberger family embraced him, and under their mentorship, he blossomed into a skilled lithographer and graphic artist.

Switzerland beckoned next, where Günther further refined his craft. Yet destiny had other plans. An advertisement lured him to the vibrant landscapes of South Africa in 1956. Settling in Cape Town, he established his own graphic design business, infusing his work with the rich tapestry of Southern Africa, Egypt, the Middle East, and Zanzibar.

But Günther’s talents transcended mere photography. He emerged as a polymath—an artist who wielded words, colors, and images with equal mastery. His lens captured both people and landscapes, revealing the raw truth that defies temporal constraints. And as a graphic designer, he wove visual narratives that resonated far beyond the present day.

Enter Gavin Furlonger, the inquisitive interviewer. Known for his tireless efforts in archiving and preserving photographers’ legacies, Gavin’s passion intersected with Günther’s. Their conversation bridged generations, linking the era of fashion photography from the 1970s to the 2000s with the indomitable spirit of a man who continues to breathe life into each frame.

Together, Günther Komnick and Gavin Furlonger illuminate the artistry, resilience, and interconnectedness that bind the creative souls of South Africa.



Günther Komnick

“What is my intention with my photography? I cannot always find the right words to express what I feel. So I take photographs and my feelings are reflected in the images. I become part of the photographs and they become part of me. They are my impressions of the way I see the world. “


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In conversation with Ruvan Boshoff

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Gallery F, photographer Ruvan Boshoff, Gavin Furlonger, Sean Furlonger, Cape Town Gallery, photography gallery, photography Cape Town, apartheid, Cape Town, Cape Town art gallery, journalism, South African journalism, press photography, street photography, Cape Town street photography, district Six, James Soullier

Ruvan Boshoff tells us how he aquired his signed James Soullier print.

A conversation between Gavin Furlonger & Ruvan Boshoff when he popped into the gallery to talk about how he acquired this signed print from James Soullier.

“Jimi influenced us, because he had a nice way of telling stories…It was all about telling stories.”

Ruvan embarked on his photographic journey in the early 1980s while serving in the military. His passion for capturing moments led him to explore the art of visual storytelling during his compulsory military operational service. As he honed his skills, Ruvan transitioned to professional work, joining the esteemed teams at The Star and later the Sunday Times in Johannesburg.

At these renowned publications, Ruvan collaborated with a constellation of fellow photographers, each leaving an indelible mark on South African photography. Among his esteemed colleagues were:

  • Juhan Kuus: A visionary photographer known for his evocative images that delved into the heart of social and political issues.
  • Ken Oosterbroek: A photojournalist with an unyielding commitment to documenting the tumultuous transition from apartheid to democracy.
  • Dale Yudelman: An artist who skillfully captured the essence of everyday life, infusing his work with authenticity and empathy.
  • David Sanison: A master of visual storytelling, David’s lens revealed the multifaceted tapestry of South African society.

Together, this talented cohort of photographers shaped the narrative of their nation, capturing both its struggles and triumphs through their compelling imagery. Ruvan’s contributions, alongside those of his esteemed peers, continue to resonate in the annals of South African photography.


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Part Two:

James Soullier

Famed for his love of his Leica camera, which he refused to move from despite his peers shifting to more modern technology, James was renowned for his passion for natural, ambient light and was never observed using a flash.


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