Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17


Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

Writing about his involvement on Drum in Creative Camera, 1984,

Kerry Swift wrote:


It is probably fair to say that the lack of recognition for the later Drum

reflects its steady slide to mediocrity after the tumultuous years of

the 1950s and early 1960s when the forces of nationalism in South

Africa were flexing their muscles and testing their ground. The quality

of picture magazines depends heavily on the social milieu they reflect

at given times. Just as Picture Post and Signal found ample subject

during the 1939-45 conflict, so Drum’s ‘golden years’ coincided with

the steady entrenchment of apartheid in South Africa and the black

response to it. It would be a deaf, dumb and blind editor who could not

capture at least some highlights of that primordial conflict in a black

magazine. Anthony Sampson and Tom Hopkinson produced some fine

journalism in the early Drum, being men of quite exceptional talent.

There appears to be a seminal flow to black response in South Africa.

Where one generation of black resisters encountered police bullets at

Sharpeville in 1960, a second generation felt the wrath of the State

after a banzai charge into the cannon’s mouth during the nationwide

riots sparked off in Soweto in June 1976. The first tide of black protest

in the 1950s and the early 1960s provided Drum journalists with

fertile ground for photo-reportage which they exploited with skill and

considerable flair. But when this tide abated, Drum seemed to slip into

a state of creative torpor which accurately reflected the socio-political

fortunes of its readers.


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