Extraordinary Lives: Portraits from a Divided Land. Photographs by Sophia Klaase curated by Siona O’Connell, Rick Rhode and Timm Hoffman

Sophia Klaase first used a camera when she participated in a photography project organised by Rick Rhode in 1999 as part of a long-term study in the village of Paulshoek, a remote settlement in the communal area of Leliefontein, Namaqualand. Klaase’s photos stood out for their freshness, sensitivity, composition and candid portrayal of village life. At the time, she was only sixteen years old, and eagerly exploring the limited outlets for her feral imagination and vivacious nature. Klaase has been making photographs ever since and today her collection of photographs consists of more than 1500 images. They record fourteen years of village life from the perspective of a young woman growing up in the ‘new’ South Africa, documenting family, friends, village events.

Exhibited for the first time at the the District Six Homecoming Centre in March 2013, the exhibition comprised 170 images from Klaase’s collection.