Pieter Hugo in i-D

Pieter Hugo photographs his two children in lockdown

THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE|By Ryan White|11 November 2020, 4:00pm

For The 40th Anniversary Issue of i-D, acclaimed South African photographer Pieter Hugo is our Artist in Residence.

For the past seven months, the photographer Pieter Hugo and his family – wife Tamsyn and children Jacob and Sofia – have lived in a quiet secluded village along the South Africancoast. Adopting one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in the world, since March the president of South Africa has entirely shut down the country’s borders, prohibited the sale of alcohol and also imposed a strict night curfew throughout much of this period. 

But for this issue of i-D, Pieter is confronting birth – even with the constant looming presence of death in 2020. “The first thing I concerned myself with was the wellbeing of my family, so making work – well, my head just wasn’t in the right place.” As time went by, he began to find himself “unfrozen from the paralysis” and, between homeschooling classes, he and his two children began working on a story together. “I actually had a conversation with my family about the idea and chatted to my kids about it first,” he says. “I don’t photograph my wife very much, she doesn’t enjoy being photographed so I respect that. And I’m very conscious of not shoving a camera in my kids’ faces all the time, because I don’t want them to become resistant to being photographed by me. I don’t want making pictures to become a power struggle.” 

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