Sherlock Holmes and Facts in Fiction

Neels Blom’s column, “On the Water”, published in Business Day, is always a treat – in a much different way from what his company was more than 25 years ago, when I last met him. As colleagues and friends, we went through the ups and downs of the states of emergency in the 1980s. We shared many laughs, tears and probably too much tannins from charred oak barrels… I do suspect, however, that we have drifted apart in terms of our ideas, beliefs and values. Nevertheless, since I believe that there should be no limitations on what should be discussed, […]

Starting Over

By Ismail Lagardien 3 March 2018. I have been wrestling with the idea of deleting my old blog posts of the past few years, and starting all over. Whenever I considered this there have always been two slight (big) problems, one philosophical (yes, I know…) and one historical. Let me pose them as questions. Have I changed my mind about what I wrote before the end of December 2017, when I “shut down” my website for “maintenance”? Is it necessary to keep an historical record of what I have written over the months and years? Whenever I think about these […]

They are everywhere, begging.

By Ismail Lagardien 15 February 2018. They are everywhere. Always there. On the beach. On the promenade. In the parking lot.They are there when you arrive. They stand around. Waiting. Hustling. One step forward. Two steps back. They circle around. They make sure not get too close. Well, not always. They’re quite gutsy. Persistent. Annoying. You sit on a bench. They are there, always. Waiting. One step forward. Two steps back. Another one arrives. They joist gently, but with purpose. The dominant ones often get their way. “I was here first. He is mine.” They are interested in your food. They will […]

The Hidden hands of Markus Jooste

13 December 2017. The analysis of pictures can be fun. Sometimes it can be a silly pass-time, sometimes not. The semiotics is the serious part. In theory the semiotics of images – the study of signs and signifying practices in a photograph – refers to any particular thing that is purposefully or unwittingly placed within a frame, and that refers to something else, or that conveys particular messages that were not initially intended by the photographer. There are several signifying practices which refers to how, as opposed to what, meaning is produced within a photograph. When viewing photographs, or any […]

PHOTOGRAPHY: Exhibit comes to an end.

  By Ismail Lagardien 19 September 2017. This is an old pic, taken two years ago by Gaia Manco. I am placing it online for two reasons; because the exhibit – Between States of Emergency which ‘honours photographers who risked their lives and freedom to expose the brutality of apartheid in the late 1980s’, has come to an end after traveling the country for two years. I am honoured that some of my work was part of this exhibition by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The other reasons is, well, not for public discussion, suffice to say that nothing can take […]

The Pig Butcher Around Midnight

Malacca, Malaysia. September 2012. I woke up at around midnight. It was a long flight. I couldn’t sleep any longer. Sweaty, the beed sheet was stuck between my legs. I got dressed. I went for a walk through the backstreets. I peered into a room. And watched a butcher chop up pigs. I shot a few frames and walked away. I was awake for another two days after that. The Pig Butcher from i lagardien on Vimeo.