Nhlane Enos Manthata
SOUTH AFRICA
Nhlane is an emerging South African mixed media artist and photographer, fast establishing himself within the contemporary urban landscape as he uses photography and film to articulate his rich observations of youth, urbanity and belonging. Access to the worlds of sub-culture and identity, key to an Africa in transition are a key element and unique aspect of his photography practice and outlook. His practice gives expression to the energy, urgency and momentum of urban life and mobility, and is situated within a deep and diverse exploration of identity, memory and belonging through an exploration of home as an internal space, ever evolving and reflected externally through notions of place as reflected in culture, history and within a contemporary cultural context. His work also articulates sub-cultures of youthful and emerging identities that are not readily accessible, and his practice is grounded in the observation, representation and celebration of such youthful voices and new expressions of culture such as his compelling film and photo essays capturing the unique urban sub-culture of informal racing which is rapidly growing into a worldwide phenomenon. Through his unique access to this world he has managed to capture the key players, energy, drama and narratives at the heart of this world and translate it into a body of work.
Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
This is a world away from the mainstream concerns and depictions of suburban life and culture, it is a world that exist on its own terms and run along its own established rules and norms in the spirit of rebellion and as assertion of a unique urban sub-culture that started in the townships of South Africa and has now grown into a full-blown sport in its own right. Nhlane Manthata’s unique eye for capturing the human spirit within a highly challenging context while retaining all the drama, joy and energy of the many moments that define this fast-growing urban culture, lifestyle and thrilling motorsport away from the mainstream. Nhlane grew up in the city of Tswane and has been immersed in this world for several years now as a keen observer capturing the dreams, ideals, skills and sportsmanship it represents – and the energy and thrill of spinning via his lens. His work is a reflection of his interest in human expressions of culture within a contemporary context while reflecting themes around history, belonging and home as a non-local space. Through his unique access to this world and its key players he has managed to capture the key figures, energy, drama and narratives at the heart of this world and translate it into a body of work via film and photography. His exploration with texture and colour further defines the work giving it a dimensionality and permanence in its final production in material and non-material form. The photo essay submitted to the Addis Foto Festival is a photo-journalistic essay in collaboration with writer and filmmaker, Beathur Mgoza Baker.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.