Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba at the Design Exchange

The Design Exchange, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and Wedge Curatorial Projects presents Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba from April 20 to June 14, 2011.

Avenue Patrice Lumumba by South African artist Guy Tillim, examines modern history and architecture in Africa, set against the backdrop of its colonial and post-colonial roots. These poignant photographs trace Patrice Lumumba’s nationalist legacy across numerous African countries, including Mozambique, Angola and The Democratic Republic of Congo.

Patrice Lumumba was one of the first elected African leaders and became the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was assassinated a mere ten weeks after he spoke out against human rights violations, at a time when his country had just earned independence from Belgium in 1960. Today many African cities, streets, avenues and squares are named in his honor, representing an African dream for national unity.

Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba is one of the primary exhibitions in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. CONTACT 2011: Figure & Ground investigates the way photography mediates how we perceive, recognize and experience the rapidly changing world around us. This year’s festival explores the tensions between humanity and nature, from the figure in the landscape to the effect of human intervention on the ground.

Guy Tillim was born in Johannesburg in 1962. He started photographing professionally in 1986 and joined Afrapix, a collective of South African photographers with whom he worked closely until 1990. His work as a freelance photographer in South Africa for the local and foreign media included positions with Reuters between 1986 and 1988, and Agence France Presse in 1993 and 1994. Tillim has received many awards for his work including the Prix SCAM (Societe Civile des Auteurs Multimedia) Roger Pic in 2002, the Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Award (Japan) in 2003, the 2004 DaimlerChrysler Award for South African photography, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award in 2005 and the first Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography from the Peabody Museum at Harvard University in 2006. He has exhibited extensively around the globe.

Admission to the exhibition is $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors, and free for DX Members. The opening reception takes place on May 1st from 2:00 to 5:00pm. Admission is free.

An exhibition tour with Kenneth Montague of the Wedge Gallery and a special screening of Lumumba directed by Raoul Peck takes place at the Design Exchange on May 17th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Admission to this event is $5, or free for DX members. Please RSVP to Guests must RSVP as space is limited.

The Design Exchange is located at 234 Bay Street in Toronto. For more information, please visit or call 416.216.2160.