Lebohang Kganye Tries To Remember Her Mother By Becoming Her Mother
Three years after her mother died, the Johannesburg-based photographer Lebohang Kganye began looking for traces of her in the house her extended family had shared.
Kganye found clothing her mother had worn, and old photographs of her mother wearing it. For the series Ke Lefa Laka: Her-story (2013), Kganye put on the clothing herself, and assumed the poses her mother had assumed. Using photomontage, she superimposed her own self-portraits onto the vintage photographs of her mother, creating a ghostly, doubling effect.
“She is me, I am her and there remains in this commonality so much difference, and so much distance in space and time,” Kganye said in a statement about the series.
More than anything, the photographs were an attempt to cling on to memory. “I realized that I was scared that I was beginning to forget what my mother looked like, what she sounded like, and her defining gestures. The photomontages became a substitute for the paucity of memory, a forged identification and imagined conversation.”
Below is a selection of images from the series. All images © Lebohang Kganye.