Damien Schumann


Twenty-nine-year-old Damien Schumann never contemplated a life behind the camera. That all changed the day he met a documentary photographer whiletravelling through the Middle East from 2001 to 2003. Inspired by the power of photography as a tool for social activism, Schumann hitchhiked through Africa to Palestine and returned with enough material for his first Cape Town exhibition, Balala. Its success led to a scholarship to the Ruth Prowse School of Art in Woodstock, Cape Town. In 2006 he used his camera to celebrate the courage of people living with TB and HIV in the townships of Cape Town and Lusaka. He housed his photographs in a moveable township shack, and the travelling exhibition won widespread acclaim � notably from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Bill Gates. But for Schumann success was bittersweet. He realised that "pictures alone could not save lives�. Now he structures his work around advocacy campaigns and tries to "push boundaries� for the sake of change. � Sibongile Nkosi

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