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Victims of Poverty and Hardship
BY
Tova Mozard

A man is showing off himself and his clothes in front of the camera in a small room, his own, the movements and gestures are natural but much exaggerated, the man is a Swenka.

Swenkas is a small group of Zulu workingmen, which was formed in South Africa following the abolishment of Apartheid. On Saturday nights they perform at different venues to impress a judge, the prize for the most stylish suit is cash, but sometimes a goat or a cow. The men follow certain set values such as physical cleanliness, sobriety and above all self-respect. The video’s voice over is taken from an interview with photographer and journalist TJ Lemon, famous for photographing Swenkas in Jeppe Hostel and making them known to the public. He speaks about his interest in this cultural phenomenon and why his work is important.

Aspect ratio 4:3
Prod. format
Duration 00:05:30
Year 2006
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About the artist

Tova Mozard

Tova Mozard lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Curiosity and unveiling narratives are two main motifs in Tova Mozard’s work. Since graduating with an MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2003, Mozard has built a growing repertoire of photography and video work, which has been shown in solo and group shows throughout Sweden and internationally. Many of her videos show a fascination with people on the fringes of society. During her time in Los Angeles, she sought out unique people drawn to the bright Hollywood lights and dreams of superstardom. In these videos, Mozard explores the relationship between the camera, the entertainer/narrator and her self as artist/documenter. The Big Scene finds Mozard turning the camera around to face her own childhood and family history.

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