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Cedric Nunn Recalls the 1989 Road Trip that Led to a Remarkable Photograph


Cedric NunnIn 1989 Charles Leonard joined photographer Cedric Nunn and a friend on a road trip to Arniston to investigate the missile testing that the state was reportedly doing off the coast. It was an eventful trip that resulted in Nunn snapping a timeless image of local boys body-boarding with others hanging on to the cliffs above. This image became the centrepiece for Nunn’s new book, Call and Response. Leonard met up with Nunn to reminisce about the trip:

In the summer of 1989 four of us went on a road trip in pursuit of a story. It was life-changing in a way that we only realised much later.

And it ­produced the evocative picture on the right by renowned South African ­photographer Cedric Nunn.
It was Nunn, who worked for the independent photographic agency Afrapix, Eddie Koch, who wrote for the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian), his friend from Canada, Annie (she was not a journalist and just came along) and I, who worked for the leftist Afrikaans newspaper Vrye Weekblad, taking the trip in Koch’s VW kombi to report on the apartheid state’s secretive missile testing in the sea off the coast of Arniston in the southern Cape. At some stage we decided to swing by the eastern part of the Cape to do a ­second story about forced removals.

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Image courtesy the Mail & Guardian


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