Invite : Book Discussion : EVERYONE IS PRESENT by Terry Kurgan | 14 Feb | 1pm

Thursday, 14 February, 2019 - 13:00

WiSER invites you to a lunchtime book discussion


Terry Kurgan

Terry Kurgan discusses her book with Pamila Gupta and Sarah Nuttall.
Chair: Hlonipha Mokoena


Thursday, 14th February 2019

WiSER Seminar room
6th Floor, Richard Ward Building
East Campus, Wits University



Terry Kurgan’s book begins with a family snapshot made by her Polish grandfather in 1939 on the eve of the war. Presenting this evocative image as a repository of multiple histories—public, private, domestic, familial and generational—she sets off on a series of meditations on photography that give us startling insights into how photographs work: what they conceal, how they mislead, what provocations they contain.


“Kurgan has achieved something rare in this book: a truly dynamic fusion of text and image. She brings a deep knowledge of craft to everyday images, whether she’s teasing fugitive meanings from a creased pre-war snapshot or taking the pulse of an apparently impersonal digital image. The result is both a moving family memoir and an illuminating reflection on photography and memory.”  
Ivan Vladislavić, author of Portrait with Keys and Double Negative.

Everyone is Present is published by Fourthwall Books. Books will be available to purchase at this event. 


Terry Kurgan is an artist and writer based in Johannesburg. Her work frequently explores the medium of photography, in particular the complexity of the photographic interaction. She has exhibited and published widely in South Africa and internationally, and has received numerous grants and awards, including the FNB Vita Art Prize and the inaugural Mbokoda Photography Award. She has published essays on vernacular photography and public-sphere art practice in books and academic journals.Her previous books are Johannesburg Circa Now (co-edited with Jo Ractliffe) and Hotel Yeoville.Everyone is Present is her first work of creative non-fiction. Terry Kurgan is a Research Associate at WiSER where she is at work on her next book project.


The book is published by Fourthwall Books, Johannesburg (2018) ( and is distributed by Jacana Media in South Africa and by Idea Books to the rest of the world.  (link =

More about the book on the Fourthwall Books website :


Everyone is Present: Essays on Photography, Memory and Family,

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