Neo Negat

 

Award-winning photographer Neo Ntsoma revisits DJ Cleo and the stars of South Africa’s democratic dawn to take new portraits and discuss the impact of both apartheid and freedom on their lives.

In this frank and emotional film, Ntsoma recounts the obstacles facing a black female photographer in apartheid South Africa.

“I was 22 years old. I was just thrown out of photo school for being a black woman pursuing a career, which was seen as inappropriate. I ended up having to work night shifts at The Star, taking pictures of news events …. I was just so sick of all those negative things.”

But as Nelson Mandela was freed and apartheid dismantled, she found herself part of a new movement.

“In the early 90′s, something new was happening in South Africa. We were full of energy and exploded with our dreams and ambitions onto the scene. We wanted to be – to create dance, music and fashion. So I took photographs of what was happening around me.”

Two decades later, the people in Ntsoma’s original photographs are today’s superstars, and her quest to retake their portraits forces her to look at the price she and many of her generation paid in the transition to freedom.