Lindeka Gloria Qampi

Born in 1969 in Bolotwa, South Africa. Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

View Qampi’s extended portfolio on The Photographers Gallery ZA

Qampi is a self-taught photographer who found her niche in the genre of Street Photography. She made photography her career in 2006, after joining a consortium of photographers known as Iilso Labantu (the eye of the people). For the past decade she has focused her lens on daily township life, with particular attention on Khayelitsha, the township in which she has lived since her teens. She captures and shares what she sees, from the private sphere to the euphoria of child play. Her photographs express the poetry and politics of the ‘ordinary act’ and therein the potential of imagining new possibilities for the future.

In 2011 Qampi developed a series of photographs for New York University Master’s student, Shady Patterson which featured township fashions. Patterson project, Clothing and Dress in South African Townships in the Post Apartheid Era attempted to ‘explore and interrogate the sartorial landscape of impoverished communities to reveal traditional influences in economically oppressed and media saturated societies’. After Qampi completed the assignment for Patterson, but went on to produce her own series of photographs, continuing within the trajectory of “township fashion”, she titled the series, Material Culture.

Since 2012 and alongside developing her own career as practicing photographer Qampi has been the project facilitator for Inkanyiso, an activist platform founded by fellow photographer, Zanele Muholi. One of their projects, Empathetic Eyes took them to Benin where they presented photography workshops which focused on violence against woman. In 2015 this group of visual activists accepted an invitation to Norway and participated in a Visual Activism Cultural Exchange Project. In 2016 Muholi and Qampi were acknowledged for their outreach work with a Brave Award.

In 2015 Qampi decided it was time to turn her lens onto herself and her immediate family after she had penned a poem to her late mother. “I have never written a poem before, but I knew I needed to say these words”. Qampi also proceeded with the idea to illustrate each word of the poem with a photograph, either with an image of herself or her children. “I wanted my photographs to act as the grammar of my expression”. As the series developed through her exploration of self-portraiture, Qampi also decided to investigate other modes of expression. Inside My Heart now includes a video work, drawings and objects made by the artist. In the final act Qampi has also developed her own singing voice and has written the lyrics and music for songs which she performs when presenting this particular series.

Exhibitions

Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2017
36 Frames & Under 18’s Only AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, 2017
Seeing Ourselves / Themselves North-West University Gallery, Potchefstroom, 2017
Cape Town Art Fair, South Africa 2017
SitDitAf Aardklop Arts Festival, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 2016
Visual Activism Cultural Exchange Programme (VACEP), Kunstplass, Oslo, Norway, 2016
Two person exhibition with Zanele Muholi, MAN Museum, Nuoro, Italy, 2015
Visual Activism Cultural Exchange Programme (VACEP), Kunstplass, Oslo, Norway, 2015
Breaking Surface Galerie NOKO, Port Elizabeth 2015
Am I Not A Man and a Brother; Am I Not A Woman and a Sister Archer Gallery, Clark College, Washington 2015
The Trouble With Memory Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town 2014
Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco 2014
The Other Camera Centre for Humanities Gallery, University of Michigan 2014
Terminal GIPCA, Cape Town 2013
Crossing the Divide Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town 2013
Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town 2013
African Image Pingyao International Photography Festival, China 2013
Point of View Barnard Gallery, Cape Town 2013
Group exhibition with Uliano Lucas & Erik Chevalier, Sardinia 2012
Lindeka Qampi Stockholm 2012
MoP5 Festival, Exposure Gallery, Cape Town 2012
Daily Life Vienna 2012
Photo Project Space, AVA Gallery, Cape Town 2012
Sex, Money & Power Cape Town Convention Centre, Cape Town 2012
International Africa Festival, Wurzburg 2010
Soccer Culture Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town 2010
Bonani Africa The Castle Gallery, Cape Town 2010

Collections

North-West University Gallery Collection, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, United States
University of Cape Town, South Africa

Awards

Brave Award, Art and Activism Category (with Zanele Muholi), 2016
Mokobo Award for Creative Photography, 2015

Published Articles and Videos

Public Intimacy, Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa. Published by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Feature on Qampi in Kunstplass
The Other Camera, exhibition catalogue published on account of the exhibition hosted at University of Michigan, USA. 2014
Grand Tour Magazine, London, featured article on Qampi’s work. 2014
Lindeka Qampi: The Language of Happiness, by Sandra S. Phillips published in Aperture, May 2011, Issue 203, p31.
Life, Framed. 25-minute documentary of the Lindeka Qampi story, directed by Liz Fish. 2013

Residencies

New York, USA, October 2016
Oslo, Norway, June 2016
Oslo, Norway, July 2015
Cagliari, Sardinia, December 2015