Michael Lesy

  • Ernest Cole: Photographer

    BETWEEN 1958 AND 1966, Ernest Cole made photographs from inside the belly of the beast that imprisoned him and his fellow black South Africans. When his first and only photo book, House of Bondage, was published in 1967, Cole knew that if he stayed in his own country, he’d be arrested. He escaped, traveling through Africa and Europe before eventually settling in New York, where he died in 1990 of pancreatic cancer—half crazy, penniless, and alone. In this collection of more than one hundred photographs from South Africa—many reproduced from prints Cole made for a 1970 exhibition in Stockholm—we