The photographs seek to show how sport, and more specifically football, is an important part of South African society at all levels, and an engine for change in the building up of a new nation.. In South Africa, football was initially played by the white population, creating the first team in 1879: Pietermaritzburg Country. At that time, they played only against government teams. In 1903, the all-white South African Indian Football Association was founded. It was only in the thirties that the first football association organised by and for blacks, was created. From then on, football would be played by whites and the “colored” population, Indians and blacks, but without mixing. At the end of the Fifties, as an act of defiance against apartheid., the S.A.I.N. was expelled from the very recent African Confederation of Football (1957). It signaled the beginning of clandestine matches organized between multiracial teams, symbolizing one of the most popular peaceful protests against the regime. From the Seventies up until the end of apartheid, multiracial teams and leagues fought with difficulty to make sure that football remained a rare, if not the only, institution where color of skin was not a cause for conflict. With the fall of apartheid, sport and in particular football, become officially “the principal vehicle for rebuilding the new, reunited South-Africa “. For the first time in the history of South Africa, the national selection, Bafana Bafana, was opened to players of all races. The team symbolized a new country, where black, white, mulattos all fought for victory together. In 1996, they beat Tunisia to claim the African Nations Cup. On the day of victory, a victory both historical and symbolic, South Africa was no longer a just territory inhabited by blacks, whites, or mulattos, it had now become a nation. As a South-African photographer friend said to me: “It was the first time that I felt proud to be South-African, never before had I understood the concept of a Nation”. During the tributes to the winning teams, something very unexpected happened: The main three leaders of the country, Nelson Mandela, the Zulu king Goodwill Zwelethini Bhekuzulu and ex-president Deklerk, put aside their differences to congratulate the players on this important victory.
Guillermo de Yavorsky was born in Caracas, in 1969, studied Architecture in the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and photography with the Venezuelan photographer Ricardo Armas. From 1990 to 2000 he was a freelance photojournalist for, Domingo Hoy, Evening Standard Magazine, El Mercurio, El Nacional, El Universal, and SIPA Press. He has exhibited his work In a number of exhibitions and Photographic Festivals in, Caracas, London, Paris, Durban, Biarritz. Some of his work is part of the collection of Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. In 1993 he began traveling, to China, India, South Africa, Cuba, Europe, and Latin America. In 1995 during his first trip to Johannesburg, Guillermo started a long term photographic project concerning South African Football (Kenako-Bafana) in 1996 he was awarded the UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme to spent 3 month as a resident artist in Bartel Arts Trust (South Africa) working on Kenako-Bafana, Guillermo is living in St Barthelemy (French
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