Durban based photographers and visual artists, Thobani K, Niamh Walsh-Vorster and Paulo Menezes, are part of the first incubation of Contemporary Archive Project. Each photographer is researching and documenting the theme of water.

Paulo spends time exploring Durban’s beaches and their ever-changing uses and meanings. With the Indian Ocean as a backdrop, his work looks at migration and the Indian diaspora living in Durban, featuring small-scale fishing practises, to weekend family time along the promenade. He looks for intimate moments among those who frequent the beachfront. 

Thobani is investigating the water issues in the area of Eskhebeni, Inanda, as well as connecting his family’s personal history with the space. He is also interested in finding sustainable solutions that are independent of government projects.

Niamh’s work is focused on people and bodies of water, and their relations to it. She has a specific interest in the Shongweni dam and its surroundings, with its current socio-political tensions and historical architecture.  She is investigating the story of the space, which so far has been relatively undocumented.

This project is currently in incubation: 2021 – present.

2021-12-10 Richard van Wyk’s home in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. Van Wyk has designed his home water system to be completely off the grid. Niamh Walsh-Vorster
2021-12-10 A water pump filtration system, Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. Rainwater is deposited into the home pool. Niamh Walsh-Vorster
2021-12-10 Natural rainwater is used for all home needs , Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. Koi fish regulate and keep the water clean, ready for human consumption or bathing. Niamh Walsh-Vorster
2021-12-10 Richard van Wyk’s home in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. Using the roof of his home, van Wyk harvests rainwater, which is captured and stored around his property, and the water is used for all home needs. Niamh Walsh-Vorster
2018-09-08 Brother and sister carrying water with a baby basin from a tanker to the house, Eskebheni, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Thobani K
2018-09-22 A child holds a water pipe, Eskebheni, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Thobani K
2018-09-22 A woman begging a truck driver for water for her jojo tanks because she is going to have a traditional event, Eskebheni, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Thobani K
2018-09-29 Mrs Masinga and her son Afrika pouring water into barrels from the tankers tap on a Saturday morning, Eskebheni, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Thobani K
2018-10-24 A woman with a baby on her back pouring water from the tanker’s tap into 25 litre containers, Eskebheni, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Thobani K
2020-01-02 North Beach, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Paulo Menezes
2020-01-07 Newly developed Durban Point Promenade, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Paulo Menezes
2021-09-02 A fisherman casts a net into the Umgeni River Mouth, Blue Lagoon, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Paulo Menezes
2022-01-07 A canoeist prepares for a paddle on the Umgeni River, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Paulo Menezes

Hi There, my name is Mandisa

Mandisa Buthelezi is a photographer and film director/producer who was raised in Durban and is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a vast portfolio that communicates the rural voice, and an appreciation and respect for the culture that has informed her perspective, she is keen on providing photographic and film content that is culturally centered and explores notions of identity and spirituality.

Cataloguing and documenting African culture through visual art has become an important component of her work through assignments.

Hi There, my name is Lindo


Growing up in the township of KwaMashu in KwaZulu-Natal and attending primary school in the same town is one of the strongest memories I have about my neighbourhood. The times I spent with my late grandmother Miss Dombi Chiliza and the people I shared my life with at that moment in time in my early childhood, influence the work I create. “I can’t imagine a world without photography – capturing a unique moment in time that will never be repeated” (Gigi Williams).

Hi There, my name is Niamh

Co-Founder & Programme Director

Niamh Walsh-Vorster is a Durban-based writer, independent photographer, and creative producer. She graduated in 2014 with a BJourn from Rhodes University in Makhanda, South Africa.
Niamh is co-founder and editor of the award-winning e-zine, Ja. Magazine. She has exhibited photographic work in group shows at galleries, and independently in various public spaces. In 2016, Niamh was the recipient of a BASA Arts Journalism Award for her review in Ja. Magazine. She has worked with the Durban Center for Photography under the leadership of legendary AfraPix photographer, Peter McKenzie. She was part of the third Incubator Programme at The Market Photo Workshop, 2017 – 2018 in Johannesburg, mentored by Angela Buckland. More recently, Niamh was project manager of the ARTLAB Mentorship programme, which worked with 30 KZN-based creatives in photography, design, and fashion. She was mentor to 10 emerging photographers.