Society

The Power and Impact of Ernest Cole’s Rediscovered Archive

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Ernest Cole During group medical examination the nude men are herded through a string of doctors’ offices. South Africa. © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole 1960. Handcuffed blacks were arrested for being in a white area illegally. (According to Julian Bahula the law forbade pictures like this being taken of people being handcuffed by the police.) Sout (...)
Ernest Cole ”Penny baas, please, baas, I hungry” This plaint is part of nightly scene in the Golden City, as black boys beg from whites. They may be thrown a coin, or… they may get slapped in the face. Joha (...)
Ernest Cole Doornfontein Railway station in rush hour. This picture shows the reality of apartheid without the need for any words. South Africa © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole A white pocket being picked. Whites are angered if touched by anyone black, but a black hand under the chin is enraging. This man, distracted by his fury, does not realize his back pocket is being (...)
Ernest Cole Earnest boy squats on haunches and strains to follow lesson in heat of packed classroom. South Africa. © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole According to Struan Robertson this represents Changeover. Contract-expired miners are on the right, carrying their discharge papers and wearing “European” clothes while new recruits, many in tribal (...)
Ernest Cole Johannesburg. According to Struan Robertson this was in the bank in the building where he and Cole had their studio. There were separate counters for blacks and whites. South Africa © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole A guest with mother and child. South Africa © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole SOUTH AFRICA. Infant suffers from advanced malnutrition. Like one in every four African children, he died before his first birthday. His father has worked nineteen years for railways. Advanced mal (...)
Ernest Cole According to Struan Robertson and others, city benches were for whites only and were so inscribed. There were no “blacks only” benches in Johannesburg; blacks sat on the curbstones. Johannesburg. S (...)
Ernest Cole SOUTH AFRICA. Bantu Beer: Africans may not drink in city bars, but may buy beer to drink on sidewalk. Friday afternoon outside the bottle store after most of crowd have left. © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole Servants are not forbidden to love. Woman holding child said, ”I love this child, though she’ll grow up to treat me just like her mother does. Now she is innocent.” South Africa © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole SOUTH AFRICA. Saxonwold, Johannesburg. Entertaining friends is done outside garden walls, since employers do not want strange “boys” and “girls” on their premises. © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole Newspapers are her carpet; fruit crates are her chairs and table. South Africa © Ernest Cole | Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole SOUTH AFRICA. Barracks-like buildings are divided into starkly simple rooms with bunk space for twenty men. There are no closets or cupboards, so clothes and boots hang all over. [The miners live t (...)