Mass Funeral

Magubane’s job as a photojournalist was to document political life and current events as people experienced them, to offer information, not AESTHETICS. But even in this early image, we can see how framing and COMPOSITION, even if the subject matter is horrific, shift the photograph from documenting a scene to being an artwork.

By making the row of coffins central to the picture, Magubane provides a striking visual perspective. The mourners offer points of individual focus and detail, culminating in the dramatic, three-quarter profile of the mourner on the far right. Magubane is here helping to creating the genre of fine art PHOTOJOURNALISM, which many other South African photographers, such as David Goldblatt and Guy Tillim, have worked on and developed further.

Artwork courtesy of ABSA Art Gallery.

Artwork Info

Peter Magubane

Mass Funeral


B+W Photograph on fibre-based archival paper

Image Size: 100 x 132 cm