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    


Busk Stop is a competition that has attracted musicians, crowds and over a million online fans  to Brighton's Churchill Square Shopping Centre, as local musicians are given the chance to win a day in a recording studio – as well as gaining huge online exposure.
Van and Sign by Melita Dennett

It's the ultimate rock 'n' roll road trip. In 2016, on the 90th anniversary of the opening of America's 'Mother Road', Brightonians Suzanne Rolfe and Melita Dennett spent five weeks travelling the dirt roads and gravel byways of Route 66.


Annabella Lwin, at the tender age of fourteen, was one of the most photographed, talked about and popular vocalists in the early 80's with her band, Bow Wow Wow, who enjoyed success with hits such as 'I Want Candy', 'Go Wild in the Country', 'C30, C60, C90, Go!'. 

Artists are turning to bees and bananas for inspiration as Brighton's ONCA Gallery hosts Experiencing Change | Changing Experience, which sees several artists, from a group known as the e:collective, look at our relationship with change on a social, economic, environmental and personal level. 

The final countdown has begun. With a few weeks to go until Together The People returns to Preston Park, let's take a look at the wide range of entertainment the festival has to offer.

Youth has been there, seen it and done it. He can go from the giddy heights of producing albums by the biggest superstars on the planet –from Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd ,with records he's worked on having sold 20 million worldwide – to the deepest and weirdest underground dance scenes in dark basements and far flung corners of the planet. 
Steven Adams & Myles Locke as Algernon & John

Brighton Little Theatre's 'Earnest' moved to the Brighton Open Air Theatre for a short run, taking full advantage of the British Summer evenings. 

The team from Gay Star News will be attending Brighton Pride to hand out 2,500 of their free Pride Bags to attendees. 


Six years used to be a lifetime in rock 'n' roll. Kids driven by the urgency of youth form bonds, plug in, play gigs, find a label. acclaim, exhaustion, over and out. 

Fresh from a headline set on Glastonbury's Acoustic Stage, UK country duo The Shires will be playing tracks from their new album alongside fan favourites from their gold selling debut,Brave, when they visit Brighton later this year.

Who knew a trip to Pizza Express could inform a young teenager's life so greatly? 

Billy Connolly continues to defy his recent double-diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer by announcing an autumn arena tour, which brings him to Brighton in November.

Alzheimer's Society is urging families to spend time together tackling the biggest health issue of our time, by joining the Brighton Memory Walk to raise money for a world without dementia.

Green councillors have spoken of their fears for the future of HIV prevention services in Brighton & Hove, after the city's Health & Wellbeing board approved a 20% cut in prevention and support services.

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