Apartheid's Child, Freedom's Son
Born into the apartheid era in 1956, Kin Bentley saw the childhood joys of living at the seaside in Bonza Bay, near East London, and celebrating the nation’s sporting prowess eclipsed as the policies of the National Party became increasingly apparent.
As a teenager he turned to writing letters to the editor attacking apartheid. These were published in Donald Woods’s Daily Dispatch. He later worked for the Progressive Federal Party, inspired by the leadership of Helen Suzman, Colin Eglin and Van Zyl Slabbert.
However, all the time the threat of military conscription was hanging over him. Like so many other white males opposed to apartheid, he faced a chilling dilemma: “serve” in the apartheid army, or risk the wrath of the law.
After studying fine art he was finally conscripted for two years, before joining the Evening Post in Port Elizabeth as a reporter in 1984. He later worked for its sister paper, the Eastern Province Herald. He covered the uprising of the 1980s which eventually led to the fall of the National Party government. But the major changes of the early 1990s he was initially only to witness from afar – while working as a correspondent for South African morning newspapers in London in 1990 and 1991.
All the time he was drawing and photographing the people and places he encountered. This visual record – including key documents from the period – complements his story about one man’s attempt to survive the army while combating apartheid.
This book comprises 335 pages.