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Breyten Breytenbach  
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South African exile, living in France, Born 1939

Author, painter, and social activist Breyten Breytenbach studied at the Art Faculty in Cape Town University. As apartheid strengthened its hold in South Africa, Breytenbach left for London, then Paris, where he married a Japanese woman. This interracial marriage violated South Africa’s Immorality Act. Breytenbach could not return to South Africa without risking arrest. He founded an organization, Okehela, or "Spark" in Zulu to fight apartheid. In an attempt to expand his organization, Breytenbach returned to South Africa, where he was imprisoned for seven years. Officials released him in 1982, but he was forced to leave the country once again.

Breytenbach continues to live in Paris. One of the most celebrated authors in Europe and South Africa, he has received several awards for literature, including the Afrikaans Corps Prize. Since 1964, he has exhibited his work across Europe, and his work is now held in both public and private collections in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Sweden.


Untitled 1997
Master printer - Maryanne Ellison Simmons
Photolithograph with hand coloring
300 gsm Arches Cover, white
13"w x 16"h
Ed. 20