It would be somewhat reductive to describe the reception of Roger Ballen’s work in love-him-or-hate-him terms; nevertheless, it is fair to say that he provokes strong responses.

American-born Ballen has lived in SA for about four decades since he hitchhiked from Cairo to Cape Town in 1974. The deep (and dark) psychoanalytic approach that drives his oeuvre is undoubtedly inflected by the country’s sociopolitical morass, though this is not a strong feature of his reputation internationally...

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