Jürgen Schadeberg

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CLAUDIA SCHADEBERG — Curator, Art Historian and Film Producer

Claudia Schadeberg began her media career in 1972 when she worked for BBC Television in London after completing her BA Degree in Art History at Essex University. She acted as researcher, writer and producer on several prestigious BBC Current Affairs programmes such as “Midweek”, “Tonight”, “Europa”, “Nationwide” and “The Dimbleby Talk In”. Contracts followed with other major British networks such as Thames TV, London Weekend, Granada TV and Yorkshire TV where she wrote and researched a series of mainstream programmes such as “This is Your Life”, “Just Amazing”, “Weekend World”, “Thames at 6” and “Family Fortunes”. Claudia also worked in the BBC Art Features Department under Robert Vas whom she assisted in a drama about Bertolt Brecht. In 1978 Claudia moved into feature documentaries working as Assistant to the Director/Producer on a cult 35mm music film “The Kids are Alright” about the pop group The Who.

From the early eighties Claudia became an independent producer, developing, researching and producing her own international documentary and drama projects together with her director/photographer husband Jurgen Schadeberg.

She specialised in productions which focus on cultural, historical, and social aspects of black life in South Africa, being based in South Africa from 1986 until 2006. Award winning productions include “Voices from Robben Island” (a co-production with BBC TV), “The Seven Ages of Music”, (BBC Presale) “War & Peace”, “Have you seen Drum recently?”, “Dolly & The Inkspots” and the documentary “Ernest Cole”. For the “Ernest Cole” documentary Claudia researched the project for 2 years and ended up discovering 2 suitcases of Cole’s work in Sweden which were returned to the Cole family. In 2000 Claudia produced a 6 x 52 minute drama series, based on fact, about a newspaper office for SABC TV entitled ”Deadline”…this followed a pilot entitled “DrumBeats”. In 1990 she co-produced a feature film about Drum Magazine. Based on fact its main characters were the courageous black Drum journalist Henry Nxumalo and Jurgen Schadeberg. After several months preproduction, casting, two sets built, rehearsing a fifties jazz grouop for 3 months the film was closed down by the then Apartheid government despite letters of support from Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu.

Claudia now concentrates on producing major documentary photographic projects with her husband Jurgen, again related to social, cultural and political issues. “Voices from the land”, “Tales from Jozi” and “Jazz, Swing & Blues – 6 decades of South African Music” were recent exhibition and book photographic projects produced by Claudia. She also researched and produced a study of “A Century of South African Photography” which involved touring the country to research all the photography archives.

The story of Soweto
The exhibition is a tribute to the courage of the students of 1976, many of whom sacrificed their lives in the struggle for freedom

June 16th 1975
Before and After

A permanent Photographic Exhibition at the historic Mundi Church in Soweto

Exhibition curated by: Claudia and Jurgen Schadeberg in 2003

As Director of The Schadeberg Collection archive Claudia also handles international gallery shows, promotion and the print sales of Jurgen Schadeberg’s extensive collection of archival prints. Claudia is currently working on a number of photographic exhibition and book projects related to European social and cultural life as well as several shows related to South African social and cultural issues.