Lindeka Qampi is a self-taught South African artist and photographer. She began taking photographs in 2006, when she met members of the Iliso Labantu (the eye of the people), a community-based photo collective. At the start she worked as a street photographer, photographing weddings, events, and portraits. Soon she moved on to exploring her community in different ways, documenting the lives of ordinary people. Her photographs express the poetry and politics of the ‘ordinary act’ and therein the potential of imagining new possibilities for the future. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in South Africa and abroad.
In 2011, Qampi developed a series of photographs for New York University master’s student, Shady Patterson, which featured township fashions – Clothing and Dress in South African Townships in the Post-Apartheid Era – which set out to “explore and interrogate the sartorial landscape of impoverished communities to reveal traditional influences in economically oppressed and media saturated
societies”. Qampi went on to produce her own series of photographs, Material Culture, within the trajectory of ‘township fashion’ and ‘street culture’. Since 2012, and alongside developing her own career as a practicing photographer, Qampi has been the project facilitator for Inkanyiso, an activist platform founded by photographer, Zanele Muholi. One of their projects, Empathetic Eyes, led them to Benin where they presented photography workshops which focused on violence against women. In 2015, they participated in a Visual Activism Cultural Exchange Project. Muholi and Qampi were acknowledged for their outreach work with a Brave Award in 2016.
In 2015, Lindeka Qampi decided it was time to turn her lens onto herself and her immediate family after she had penned a poem, Inside My Heart, to her late mother: “I have never written a poem before, but I knew I needed to say these words”. As the series developed through her exploration of self-portraiture, she also investigated other modes of expression. Inside My Heart also includes video work, drawings, and objects made by the artist.
Qampi’s recent solo exhibition, Ukufa kusembizeni, which was held at the Association for Visual Arts, (AVA) Gallery, Cape Town, in 2021, is shown here. The PLP are working with Qampi and her archive. More material and projects will be uploaded as this journey continues.
For additional information on Lindeka Qampi’s work, visit: