(June – October 2010)
“A Generous Eye” was exhibited at the Luthuli Museum from 18 June 2010 to 1 October 2010, courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Naidoo family. The exhibition showcased the life and journalistic efforts of photojournalist and activist G R Naidoo during the Liberation Movement in South Africa.
The Luthuli Museum was greatly honoured to host this exhibition and was delighted in researching and designing further panels that linked the great lives of both Naidoo and Chief Albert Luthuli, who first met each other in 1952, when Chief Luthuli was addressing a mass rally at “Red Square”, now known as “Nicol Street Square” in Durban’s Central Business District. It was an important meeting place and platform for political rallies.
Naidoo kept close ties with Chief Luthuli and aided in facilitating meetings with other journalists who wanted to speak with and meet Chief Luthuli. His last interview with Chief Luthuli was in 1964 just before the final banning which prohibited Luthuli from visiting Stanger.
Through his reporting, Naidoo came to empathise with the frustration and anger felt by the many people whose movements were restricted by the government. Naidoo identified strongly with the struggle that Chief Luthuli had committed himself to.
GR Naidoo was born in Durban in 1928. He joined Drum magazine in 1954 where he worked as a photo-journalist and later covered the Treason Trial. He hosted former president Nelson Mandela at a dinner party in 1962 and is described as someone who lived “non-racialism”.
The launch of the exhibition included guest speakers, Professor Raymond Suttner from the University of South Africa , who is the head of the Walter and Albertina Sisulu Knowledge and Heritage Unit School for Graduate Studies and Professor Keyan Tomaselli, who is the Director of the Centre for Culture, Communications and Media Studies at the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal.