Yudelman wins the Ernest Cole photographic Award

For creative works about South African Society

Capetonian photographer, Dale Yudelman, is the first winner of the newly established Ernest Cole Award for photography in South Africa. Named after documentary photographer Ernest Cole, the award is funded by Peter Brown, Gavin Relly Educational and Kirsh Family Trusts. This award focuses on creative works about South African society. 

Dale Yudelman’s father taught him how to take photographs at a young age and he was barely out of his teens when he started working at The Star, South Africa’s largest daily newspaper, as a staff photographer in 1979. He left South Africa in 1986 and worked as a freelance photographer overseas before returning in 1996.

His winning project is called 'From the Hip' and the judges were sufficiently impressed by it to choose him over four other finalists. Yudelman describes his project as being "inspired by the Ernest Cole exhibition I saw in February this year, which documented life under apartheid. My series looks at life 'under democracy' and consists of vibrant daily reflections; shot in passing, with the simple motivation of noticing what is."

"The aim is to deliver an account accurate and vivid as any documentary anthology of contemporary life and the way in which ordinary citizens experience their current social and political circumstances."

Shot on a simple digital camera Yudelman’s photographs focus on engagement with the subjects and composition rather than excessive gadgetry and lighting.

Honorable mentions were awarded to the other four finalists: Jabulani Dhlamini, Marc Shoul, Graeme Williams and Thbiso Sekgala. The award, managed by UCT Libraries, will enable Yudelman to complete his project, culminating in an exhibition and the publishing of a book, by Jacana next year.

Find out more about Dale Yudelman’s reality.

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