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Schadeberg was born in Berlin and emigrated to South Africa in 1950. He was an apprentice at the German Press Agency in Hamburg and assistant to a photojournalist. He lives and works in France, Germany and South Africa.

He photographed The Midnight Kids, during one of his many visits to Sophiatown in 1954. “Sophiatown in the fifties was alive with jazz and blues. The young generation of musicians and singers used music as a form of defiance against the apartheid system and often adopted an American style which transformed into township jazz.”

Piano Fingers was taken independently at a rehearsal studio in Johannesburg. “I often went out to take pictures for myself since I had a great interest in the black music of the fifties which tended to be ignored – partly because it was illegal for black musicians to play to white audiences. I wanted to capture the spirit, vigor and energy of these musicians whose great talents were sadly not able to be appreciated by the wider public.”



| Click to view the artwork |

The Midnight Kids, Sophiatown, 1954,
archival silver handprint, printed, signed and dated by the artist, 36 x 36cm, 1954
Wayne Cahill Barker   Gerhard Harald Batha   Walter Whall Battiss   Deborah Margaret Bell   Bongi Bengu   Willie Bester
Peter John Bonney   Willem Hendrik Adriaan Boshoff   Mbongeni Richman Buthelezi   Norman Catherine   Erika Hibbert   Phillemon Hlungwani
Robert Griffiths Hodgins   William Kentridge   John Kramer   Speelman Mahlangu   Colbert Mashile   Clare Menck
John Mark Moore   Zwelethu Mthethwa and Sam Nhlengethwa   Olbie Olberholzer   Walter Oltmann   Milwa Mnyaluza George Pemba   Uwe Pfaff
Karin Preller   Dan Rakgoathe   Albert Redelinghuys   Jürgen Schadeberg   Lucky Sibiya   Jaco Sieberhagen
Lionel Smit   Richard John Smith   Angus Taylor   Alfred Thoba   Andrew Verster   Edoardo Villa