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  • Writer's pictureThuthukani "TK" Ndlovu

Market Photo Workshop 2021

// Applications to study at MPW are now open, and close on the 15th of January //

Greetings fam. The Radioactive Blog is back online, and I hope that you have all been well and safe over the past few weeks. A lot has been happening, and we have quite a bit of content to catch up on, so let's get straight into this amazing opportunity for those who want to venture into Photography, or those who are already working in the industry and want to take their photography / brands to the next level. I recently had an informative chat with Khona Dlamini (manager for Programs and Projects at Market Photo Workshop) about their courses and some of the benefits they provide, and I can't wait to share the info with you.

Before I give feedback on the conversation we had , let me give you a brief background behind the institution, and then we'll dive into how you can apply , as well as why you should apply.

[ Photo Cred: @Ngoma_Swaratlhe ]

Market Photo Workshop - MPW is a school of photography, a gallery, and a project space which has played a pivotal role in the training of South Africa’s photographers, ensuring that visual literacy reaches neglected and marginalised parts of our society. Since it was founded in 1989 by world-renowned photographer David Goldblatt, the Photo Workshop has been an agent of change and representation, informing photographers, visual artists, educators, students and broader communities of trends, issues and debates in photography and visual culture. His vision is still in progress, and the institution not only routinely produces technically sound world-class photographers, but critically astute persons who understand the weight and meaning of the camera and the work they produce. They are located in Newtown, Johannesburg and strive to create an environment where students learn, not only the technical and conceptual aspects of photography, but also ways of critical thinking integral to the understanding of contemporary photographic practice.

They are best known for Narrative Photography, which entails photography that looks into deep societal issues. With 31 years’ experience in developing world-class storytellers through the lens, the MPW has opened applications for its 2021 courses, with the final closing date set for January 15, 2021.

2020 Intermediate Course student, Senzekile Sangweni 22, from Meadowlands, Soweto, remembers being struck by how Market Photo Workshop mentors and trainers had genuine connections to people from every sphere of society when she enrolled at the school earlier this year. “It was astounding how our facilitators had a far-reaching rapport with the people we worked on photographs with,” she says. “Although I initially wanted to study film, I immediately felt at home at MPW and found my people – my tribe. Photography goes beyond capturing pictures but extends to your daily life. It teaches you to be patient, and perceptive of the environment around you. It has changed the way I view life.”

I have not studied at MPW before, but after my conversation with Khona Dlamini, the comments by Senzekile actually make sense. This is not just an institution that caters for developing the skills and knowledge of it's students, but one that also prioritizes getting some of the best people - who currently work in the industry - to teach the students and prepare them for their careers. There are so many facets within Photography, and each facet contributes to the ecosystem of the Visual industry as a whole. On this note, one of the unique things I also realized about MPW while speaking to Khona was that, they literally and intentionally create a conducive environment for their students to be well equipped for which ever part of the ecosystem they wish to specialize in. Now that's what we call "Dope". There are a lot of institutions that only focus on a specific section of a discipline, and that often leaves students dependent on one career path after they complete their qualification. I'm glad that this is not the case with MPW, which is evident by the variety of courses they offer, as well as the modules within each respective course.

The four different courses offered at MPW are : Foundation Course in Photography; Intermediate Course in Photography; Advanced Programme in Photography; Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme (You can find more information about each course here). Khona informed me that one of her favorite modules is "Visual Culture", which entails training the student's eye, understanding visual culture in general and visual media as a whole, as well as analyzing how people read images. This is definitely something that I would consider as imperative in today's visual industry, because a lot of company's and individuals often find themselves in predicaments that could have been avoided, if they understood visual culture better, and how it can affect their brand. It's also important to note that there's so much that one can explore in the field of photography, from using it as tool for advocacy, to printing, or specializing in post production, curating exhibitions etc. I honestly didn't know how extensive photography is until my conversation with Khona, so I'm really delighted that I'm now more informed, and I hope that you're more informed as well. With all this being said, it's quite evident that MPW is the most ideal place to study in 2021 if you really want to get the optimal learning experience.

Before my conversation with Khona came to an end, I had to ask her whether students who did not have access to camera's could still apply, and the good news is "YES". This institution is fully aware of the demographics of their students, and has tailor made different opportunities and initiatives that don't only give students access to equipment, but also encourage and inspire them to work towards investing in their own personal equipment. Fam, MPW got you covered all the way - all you have to do is apply, and to top off everything I've mentioned so far, their fees are so affordable!!!

If there was a time to enroll for storytelling through the lens after the 2020 nightmare, then 2021 is the time. For more information, & applications please visit: or click on the ad below. Please don't miss out on this opportunity, and remember, the deadline is on the 15th of January 2021. Don't say I never told you or that I do't share amazing opportunities with you fam. lol That's about it from me for now, please do feel free to share this opportunity with as many people, and let's connect on the social media streets. Don't forget to always wear your mask, sanitize your hands and practice social distancing fam. We've just entered into the 2nd wave in South Africa, so let's remain responsible in the fight against COVID. You can find me on Twitter / Instagram at @2tukani , and don't forget to follow The Radioactive Blog on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stay safe, stay blessed. Peace!!


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