Apartheid Museum

Life under Apartheid

For white South Africans the 1960s was a decade of boom and unprecedented prosperity. For black South Africa, the 1960s saw apartheid harden into its most dogmatic and racist form.

Ernest Cole, born Kole, was probably the finest documentary photographer of his generation. His outstanding photographic record of what it was like to be black in Verwoerd's white republic forms the heart of this exhibit. These photographs, which Cole took into exile in the late 1960s, were published in his book House of Bondage, which was banned in apartheid South Africa. When the museum opened its doors in 2001, it was the first time Cole's photographs were publicly displayed in South Africa.

Quick Facts

  • Ernest Cole, a black photographer, documented the injustices of life under apartheid in the 1960s.
  • Cole was one of the few to be race-reclassified as ‘coloured’ and changed his name from Kole to Cole.
  • Cole’s book House of Bondage is an exposé of everyday life under apartheid experienced by black South Africans.
  • Apartheidmuseum248

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