Biography of Mads Nørgaard

Mads Nørgaard is a Danish-born photographer who has spent the last decade of his life documenting and capturing Cape Town and her people.

His work is, by and large, a body of social documentation. The subject of his lens shifts: from exploring the transport networks and systems around Cape Town and the people, conversations and dynamics that exist within that; to shining a light on the youth, and some of the challenges faced by young people in the country’s oldest town. Mads has used photography – being able to distil a living moment into one single picture – as a way of engaging with people, of gathering stories and insights that stand as a record of what took place. This has inspired a deep and abiding passion for, and interest in, Mitchell’s Plain, its people, its neighbourhoods and the constant struggle against a wide array of socio-economic and historical issues.

Mads’ love for people, for engagement and the ‘overlooked ordinary’ of Cape Town has seen him become involved in a number of projects. This includes work with Cold Turkey, a vibrant and unique collective which aimed to provide a recreational space for the youth; signing up as co-editor of the Bonani Africa 2010 exhibition, conference and publication; and providing editorial input and webmaster services for South African History Online, a website that aims to tell the history of the people, as it happened to them.

Well aware of the often exploitative nature of photography, Mads is out to capture the moments of joy, successes and unity among communities and people in the place he calls his home.

Exhibitions: Bonani Africa 2010 Festival of Documentary Photography(group exhibition), 3 and a half Metres: Committee’s Choice at AVA Gallery 2012, Open Forum on Art and Social change at The Roundhouse (group exhibition), In transit – Cape Town 2012 (Solo exhibition), The Image Says It All 2013 (Group exhibition), Exhibition 1 2016 (Solo exhibition at The Godden Gallery), Echoing Voices From Within 2016 (Group exhibition at University of Cape Town)

Publications include: National Geographic, Vice/Noisey, Politiken (Danish newspaper), City Press, Media24: Die Burger, British Airways High Life, Cape Times (South African newspaper), Cape Argus (South African newspaper), Herald on Sunday (New Zealand newspaper), Bonani Africa 2010 (publication), VISI Magazine, DOSSIER Magazine, etc.

Commercial clients include: Mercedes Benz Magazine, Media24, Discovery, Children’s Radio, Internet Solutions, Shoprite, Cape Town Fashion Council, SPAR, Adriaans Attorneys, Gateway College, Cold Turkey Events, CityVarsity, Zip Zap Circus School (NGO), Bob’s for Good (NGO), SCORE (NGO), Lalela Project (NGO), etc.

Photographer chronicles the people of Cape Town’s bustling public transport system
Interview with VISI Magazine

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All photographs appearing on this site are property of Mads Nørgaard.