Born around Bolobedu in 1982, George Mahashe first practised photography as an assistant to a local roaming photographer. With a B-Tech in photography, he has worked as a lecturer and practitioner in commercial photography, exhibiting his photographs and installations locally and internationally. He has since ventured into anthropology and fine art, exploring transgressions between photography, anthropology and artistic practice.
In 2013, Mahashe took part in a series of inter-university seminars on cultural translation, between UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art and Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste Braunschweig, under the banner of the Between the Lines symposium. He subsequently spent three months in Berlin researching the photographic archive of the Berlin Missionary Society, produced in Bolobedu and the wider Northern Transvaal, between 1881 and 1960.
Currently, Mahashe is pursuing a PhD in Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, where he received an MA in Fine Art for his interactive photographic installation, Dithugula tša Malefokana: Seeing other people’s stories, telling tall tales, which explores the photographic medium’s materiality. His current research considers ways of visualising some recorded dreams experienced by some members of a Balobedu delegation that participated in the Transvaal Exhibition, which took place in Berlin, Germany in 1897. He is interested in the dreams as subjective archival sources that resist the disciplining effect of the archive as evidence, and the role artistic practice plays in reinforcing subjectivity as an effective discursive tool for dealing with archive.