Series from Libertas Magazine on South African Blindness Institutions

Print, Photographic

Accession Number: 2009.24.16.501-511

Description: (11) BW prints, all stamped on back "Copyright Photograph for Libertas, P.O. Box 4577, Johannesburg"; .501: Two African men sitting a table in room lined with bookshelves; one reads a braille book, the other writes braille with a desk slate; .502: An African girl in white outfit and headwrap looks off to left; a younger African girl in a striped sweater waves her hand and looks to right; .503: Three African boys sit with their backs to a brick wall; the two on the left hide their faces while the rightmost crouches impassively; their clothing is somewhat ragged; .504: An African nurse in white uniform and cap examines the eye of a seated African boy wearing a dirty white jumper; .505: An eye clinic; two African boys watch as a Caucasian man leans over a seated African man, spreading the seated man's eye to examine it; there are medical instruments on a table behind the men; .506: Two African men sit on the floor, their backs to a brick wall; a legless angled wooden work table is pulled up over their legs and they are weaving baskets; a Caucasian man wearing dark glasses is crouched between them, his hands on the basket of the nearer workman; .507: On the left, two African men sit on the floor of a workroom weaving baskets; in the background is an enormous stack of finished baskets of several designs; on the right, a African man stands at a workbench, weaving a basket; all three wear aprons over long sleeved shirts with the sleeves rolled up; .508: Seven African women in a workroom, roughly arranged in a line; woman on the far right is wrapping yarn on a clock reel; the next three women are knitting, their yarn stored in baskets at their feet, or carding wool; the next woman is spinning yarn on a spinning wheel, its wheel blurred with motion; the right most woman isseated at a loom, and another woman standed over her, her hands engaged with the loom as if instructing the seated woman; .509: An African man wearing overalls and dark glasses sits on the right on a stone bench, reading a braille book, a shirtless young boy sits beside him; on the left an African woman sits in a chair knitting beside a wicker baby bassinet holding an infant; a block building fills the background; .510: An African man wearing overalls and dark glasses sits at a typewriter; the light is stark and his shadow is clear on the wall behid him; .511: A low white building with two wings is seen amid large trees beneath a partly cloudy sky; an African man on a wide paved path walks toward the camera, and a small crowd stands at the front entrance of the building in the background.

Medium: Photographic Paper

Date: ca. 1955

Photographer: Libertas Publications

History/Provenance: Reverence Arthur Blaxall, born in England in 1891, was an Anglican priest. Blaxall helped found the Athlone School for the Blind in South Africa in 1927. In 1939, he opened the first workshop for blind Africans in South Africa, Ezenzeleni, in Roodepoort, where he served as superintendent until 1950. He was a founder and chairman of the South African National Council of the Blind. In 1964, he was exiled from South Africa for his opposition to the National Party government, convicted of aiding the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress. He published a biography, Suspended Sentence, in 1965 and died in 1970.

Credit Line: AFB Migel Memorial Library Collection, 2009.24

Subjects: Africa Bands Basket making Braillewriters Education of disabled persons Eye examinations Music education Nurses Schools for the blind and visually impaired Sewing machines South Africa Typewriting Vocational education Weaving