Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 29 September 2012

Black History Month – Wembley To Soweto Exhibition Visits Brighton

Brighton Dome is to host John Cole and David Westhead's extraordinary photography exhibition Wembley To Soweto – A Photographic Journey as part of Brighton's Black History Month. 


A collection of over 50 images shot by disadvantaged teenagers from the Johannesburg townships, the project has become a global initiative that provides professional photographic training and life-skills to disadvantaged youngsters in order for them to move their own lives forward and, ultimately, make a positive contribution to the society in which they live.

The story behind Wembley To Soweto – A Photographic Journey begins in 1988, when - whilst 600 million viewers tuned in on TV and radio - more than 80,000 people attended a concert at Wembley Stadium to celebrate the 70th birthday of Nelson Mandela.



The iconic photograph of that momentous day was taken by the internationally renowned photographer John Cole, which now hangs on the wall in Mr Mandela’s home.

Over twenty years later, in 2010, David Westhead of Wilton Pictures invited John to run a four week intensive photography course in Johannesburg.

The course, run in conjunction with Umuzi Photo Club, afforded an opportunity for eight teenagers from the townships to work alongside one of the world’s best photographers.

This course was not solely about taking striking images; it was about how to feed your family using a camera as the tool of your trade.

The exhibition collects the pictures they took and offers an insight into daily South African life as the country prepared for and experienced the World Cup 2010.

Involvement with the project has helped empower the young people to fulfil their hopes and dreams.

Participants have been awarded full scholarships and bursaries to photographic colleges, had work published in magazines including Marie-Claire, have completed shoots for Vodacom and the South African Parliament and had images exhibited in top galleries in New York, Antwerp and Johannesburg.

Furthermore, Wembley to Soweto images are on permanent display on the BBC and Guardian websites.

One photographer – Thapelo Motsumi - was invited to be guest of honour at Newcastle United where the exhibition filled the stadium for the Barclays Premier League game against Liverpool on April 1, 2012.

One of his photographs was blown up to 20m in diameter and displayed on the centre circle in front of 55,000 fans in the stadium and 200 million TV viewers world-wide.

A replica of this photograph is now on permanent display in the Leazes End of the stadium.

Awarded a scholarship to the Market Photo Lab in Johannesburg, Motsumi has just been offered an apprenticeship with the Times in SA.

In a recent pilot scheme with Greater London schools, the project directly reached approximately 4000 young people, from primary school to college level.

It brought the acclaimed Wembley to Soweto exhibition to local venues and provided access to a number of workshops run by professional photographers.



Following the extraordinary success of the original programme in South Africa, Wilton Pictures has now launched a major national campaign aimed at encouraging children and teenagers across the UK to pick up a camera and discover the incredible rewards and power of photography.

Using photographs from Wembley to Soweto as a teaching tool from which students globally can learn and draw inspiration, the project’s goal is to ignite a passion for photography in young people, regardless of their means and background, giving them a creative voice and a unique opportunity to express themselves.

Two young participants involved in the scheme were recently invited to be official photographers with the Africa Express – working alongside and photographing the likes of Damon Albarn and Sir Paul McCartney.

Working in direct partnership with local government Wilton Pictures will continue to run this series of photography courses in major cities and towns throughout the country over the next six months.

Wembley To Soweto – A Photographic Journey  at Brighton Dome until Friday 19 October - 10am-5pm - Free. See brightondome.org for more details.


by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Brighton's newest record shop, Vinyl Revolution, celebrated its first Record Store Day, last Saturday, and it turned into a day to remember.

Creative Scotland will support nine top Scottish acts to perform at two Showcasing Scotland concerts at The Great Escape 2018, in Brighton - one of the most important platforms for new music in the world attracting over 3,500 key industry figures on the look-out for new talent.

Eight young people from the Brighton and Hove area have been offered the opportunity to learn the art of professional photography with the The Wembley to Soweto Foundation, an international charity founded by Brighton-based actor and producer, David Westhead. 

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award is reserved solely for documentary photographers working on projects which are intended to make the world a better place and which may be unreported or under-reported.

Brighton's Sallis Benney Theatre is set to showcase Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution, the thought provoking film that aims to encourage local students and residents to consider their current attitudes and behaviour towards sex, consent and gender.

“The issue of homosexuality is very topical at the moment and this is an innovative work. This book records a largely forgotten history and biography of two key figures in the fight against sexual discrimination,” says Hove resident Brian Anderson of his new book. 

The first glimpse of Brighton Festival 2018 is to be unveiled at Fabrica this weekend, in the form of David Shrigley's interactive installation, Life Model II.

A play about the life of Manchester Arena bomb victim Martyn Hett is set to come to the Brighton Fringe almost one year since the tragic event.

Spymonkey's Stephan Kreiss will join Scottish actor Pauline Knowles in the world première of Problem in Brighton, a brand new alt-rock/pop pantomime written and directed by Brighton Festival 2018 Guest Director David Shrigley.
Pic by Andy Sturmey

Riding the wave of success and universal critical acclaim for their most recent album, F.E.A.R, Marillion graced the stage at Brighton Dome last night (16/4/18) and served up an epic and confident display of prog.

Superorganism is a London-based, eight person collective of international musicians and pop culture junkies from Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, who have, in just eighteen months, amassed a global fan base and acclaimed début album. 

He's still the undisputed champion of Superbike; the most successful rider ever in the sport's history. Now Carl Fogarty is fifteen years into a retirement that has seen him be crowned King of the Jungle and trek across Patagonia, but, as for any former champion, giving up the sport that made him a household name has been no easy task.
(c) Delaram Pourabi

TT, also known as Theresa Wayman, vocalist and guitarist of Warpaint, has unveiled lead single I've Been Fine, in the run up to début album, LoveLaws

Isaac Gracie's eponymous début album is the sound of an artist bit-by-bit breaking through the hype and the seeds of doubt that stem from the heavy expectation that greeted breakthrough song Last Words.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd