In outdated household pictures, South African artist Lebohang Kganye reenacts her late mom’s life


Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

After Lebohang Kganye’s mother died at age 49, the South African artist began going through the things she’d left behind as a means to deal with the grief.

In her mother’s wardrobe, Kganye recognized clothes and jewelry that she’d only seen her wear in old photographs, many of them taken before she was born. Among them was a feminine calf-length white halter sundress knotted in the front; a vibrant red top with a white-trimmed collar; a dressy black-and-white patterned long coat.

“I went on this journey of trying to locate her somehow, or reconnect with her,” Kganye explained in a video call from Johannesburg.

It was through this cathartic process that Kganye found the direction of her photography practice. She dressed in her mother’s clothes and styled her hair as she did, then reenacted the scenes, superimposing her own spectral image directly into the old family photographs.

From the series "Ke Lefa Laka: Her-Story."

From the series “Ke Lefa Laka: Her-Story.” Credit: Lebohang…