David Goldblatt
[Photographer, b. 1930, Randfontein, South Africa, lives in Johannesburg.]

 I regard myself as an unlicensed, self-appointed observer and critic of South African society which I continue to explore with the camera. 
 I said that the camera was not a machine-gun and that photographers shouldn’t confuse their response to the politics of the country with their role as photographers. 
 In an obvious sense, photographers, by virtue of being there and ‘recording’ the scene, are witnesses and their work becomes evidence in an almost forensic sense. 
 It was always possible for Joseph Stalin to remove Trotsky from a group photograph. Digital technology made it simpler, easier, faster... 
 …making a photograph is rather like writing a paragraph or a short piece, and putting together a whole string of photographs is like producing a piece of writing in many ways. There is the possibility of making coherent statements in an interesting, subtle, complex way. 
 ...if I had to report on my activities to a heavenly labour ministry, I would, under the heading of job description, say that I am a self-appointed observer and critic of the society into which I was born, with a tendency to doing honour or giving recognition to what is often overlooked or unseen.