| Omar Badsha|| Letter to Farzanah|
Omar Badsha Wikipedia
Omar Badsha is a South African documentary photographer, artist, political and trade union activist and an historian. He has exhibited his art in South Africa and internationally. In 2015 he won the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Art.
Badsha was born in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on 27 June 1945. He is a third generation South African of Indian origin and comes from a Gujarati Muslim Sunni Vohra family. His father Ebrahim Badsha was one of the South African pioneer black artists and a founding member of Bantu, Indian, Coloured Arts (BICA) organisation started by Durban artists in 1951.
In the early 1960s, Badsha produced "resistance art" and won a number of awards including Sir Basil Schonland prize in 1965 and the Oppenheimer award in 1969 after his work was featured in the Johannesburg exhibition Artists of Fame and Promise. He became an anti-apartheid activist during his high schools days. He was one of the activists who revived the Natal Indian Congress in the 1970s and the independent left wing trade union movement that grew out of the famous 1973 Durban strikes. Badsha established and was the first secretary of the Chemical Workers Industrial Union. During this time he was detained and harassed. He was denied a passport and never allowed to travel outside the country until 1990.
In 1982 Badsha cofounded the multiracial organization Afrapix. They took photojournalistic photographs of effects and impact of apartheid with the aim to create a picture library and "stimulate documentary photography". He is also the founder of South African History Online, South Africa's largest history website.
He is the author of a number of photographic books. His first book was A Letter to Farzanah, was banned immediately after its publication in 1979.