Category: Society / October 3, 2012 5:43 PM EDT
More than sixty years of oppression and resilience are on display in a new exhibit at the International Center of Photography in New York City. The exhibit called “Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and Bureaucracy of Everyday Life” documents South Africa’s apartheid system as seen through nearly 500 photographs, films, magazines and archives.
Executive Director of The International Center of Photography Mark Robbins commented on the power of the exhibition:
"I guess that's what's so powerful for me in the exhibition is it shows you the way in which a horrific system was normalized in everyday life.s"
Robbins said people who visit the exhibition will experience both sides of human nature: the good and the evil:
"It's a very kind of familiarity, the normalcy that evil doesn't have horns and a tail and doesn't make big noises and doesn't have red light and smoke. It actually looks like you and me. So it actually talks about the way in which in a culture we take responsibility for the way we live or for the kinds of change that we make in the world. And I think that's so clear here, that people were organized to fight for something which was wrong, both whites and blacks, were fighting for a different way of life and that's something that we are all empowered to do. That's a very, very strong message,"
The exhibition is five years in the making, with curators culling through more than 30,000 photographs, videos and other items.