Mary Sibande in BredaPhoto 2020

Mary Sibande’s work on view in the 2020 BredaPhoto photography festival in the city of Breda, Netherlands. (Image by Ron Magielse)

BredaPhoto is the largest photography festival in the Benelux region (which includes Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). The festival brings together the work of established and emerging photographs, exhibiting their images in novel ways in various locations around the city. This year, the work of Mary Sibande is prominently featured in the festival. The theme for 2020, “The best of times, the worst of times,” could not be more appropriate. Sibande’s work features her avatar, Sophie, whom the artist uses to explore issues of gender, race, and opportunity, in context with Post-Apartheid South Africa.

Writing about Sibande’s work for the Dutch magazine de Volkskrant, Merel Bem writes:

“[Sibande] created a kind of alter ego, a black woman dressed in bright blue Victorian robes. On the one hand, she is a loving tribute to all the women in her family who worked for decades as domestic helpers, and on the other hand, she is an outright indictment of that system.”

BredaPhoto is on view through October 25, 2020, throughout the city of Breda, Netherlands.