Göttingen: Steidl, 2016 Condition: Like New, a part of envelop is torn(see last photo), Sealed, 24x32cm, 96pages, Softcover
Over the course of a few weeks in 1986, aboard the crowded and precarious Soweto-Johannesburg train he took to and from his job as a darkroom printer, Santu Mofokeng photographed a ritual he witnessed daily. His fellow commuters, working-class residents from the surrounding townships, would spontaneously begin to sing. Bible-wielding preachers would sermonize, prayers would be uttered, and murmurs would gradually build into a raucous chorus replete with clapping, bell-ringing, dancing, and improvised drums. “These pictures capture two of the most significant features of South African life,” Mofokeng says, “the experience of commuting (migrancy) and the pervasiveness of spirituality.” The first of a defining series of photo-essays by Mofokeng that Steidl will release in the coming years, Train Churchis the photographer’s earliest long-form story—newly revised and expanded, and brought palpably to life in an oversize format.