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In this chapter on the Bang-Bang Club, a group of four white photojournalists who documented the end of apartheid in South Africa, Sharon Sliwinski considers how the constraints of dark times affect the social imaginary. Sliwinski argues that the realm of the imaginary can be leveled by political violence and, moreover, that sovereign structures and strictures can be observed in the photographic situation. The Bang-Bang Club’s images did not manage to expose the political nuances of the period of transition in South Africa. Rather, they became sites through which political power struggle continued to play out. The Bang-Bang Club’s photographs show a world flattened by apartheid, which in turn can teach us something about the workings of the unconscious.

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