New Joburg exhibition interrogates the destruction of wildlife in Africa

Posted on 28 March 2023 By David Henning

The Inside Out Centre for the Arts in Johannesburg’s inaugural exhibition highlights the destructive nature between humankind and Nature, focusing on the Golden Age of African hunting at the end of the 19th century.

American photographer, Roger Ballen, will be showcasing his work at the Joburg centre with a collection of eclectic installations and provocative images.

‘A criteria for the space is the psychological impact. It stays there like a virus that mutates and transforms, you can’t get rid of it,’ Ballen said to Mail & Guardian.

Ballen asked, ‘How do we explain the rapid rise and continued appeal of Africa’s big game hunting, which has led to the tragic, mass destruction of wildlife and the ecological crisis of the continent today?’

The collection of images, artefacts and film clips, the collections seeks to record and highlight the significance and context of the ‘Golden Age’ of African hunting expeditions by colonialists and powerful Western figureheads — such as Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, King Edward VIII and Hemingway — which took place from the mid-1800s onwards – delving into the psychological relationship humankind has to the natural world.

It chronicles the unrestrained hunting practice which contributed to the ecological devastation humanity is currently facing.

If you walk away from the exhibition with nightmares, Ballen concludes ‘That’s great news, that’s exactly what you needed!’

Have a look at some of the exhibitions below.



The Inside Out Centre is at 48 Jan Smuts Avenue, Forest Town, Johannesburg. For more information visit their website here.

Pictures: Supplied

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