ONLINE TALK: ‘Scratching the Surface’ with Photographer Justin Keene


Friday 21 January 2022


In this online conversation, Justin Keene presented his ongoing project ‘Walls in the Riverbed’.

Based in the UK, Justin Keene (b. 1989) directs his photographic lens on South Africa, where his parents lived. Across his lyrical and poetic imagery, Keene explores concepts of identity and representation, as well as his conflicting relationship with this country, its colonial legacy and the so-called ‘born free’ generation. His current body of work, ‘Walls in the Riverbed’, examines colonial archives depicting South Africa’s early diamond mining industry — using his personal connection with the topic to interpret the representation of imperial legacies.

A selection of photographs by Justin Keene and Nii Obodai will feature in Resonances, Messums London’s first contemporary photography show. Through a selection of delicately composed and elusive images, this exhibition encourages us to ponder our relationship with nature and read cultural history through the environment.