This essay argues that what is disturbing and strange about the best of Roger Ballen’s work is linked to the ways in which it invokes the related spectralities of the photographed other and a discriminatory racist gaze, exposing as it does ways in which those photographed negotiate their becoming spectral via being photographed. Ballen’s work represents a problem, both for traditional categorizations of photographic work and for accounts of photography motivated by a sense of an analogue/digital break. It has either been categorised, unconvincingly, as aesthetic, or viewed as preoccupied by past difficulties. This essay argues that Ballen’s work discovers an inventiveness in relation to site that, in responding to the spectralising effects of camera-made images, is exposed via the ways in which those photographed remark the provisionality of the domestic, its hierarchies and spaces.
In an interview Bernard Stiegler conducted in 1993, transcribed under the title ‘Spectographies’, Jacques Derrida was invited to comment on lines that he delivered in the film, Ghostdance, directed by Ken McMullen ten years earlier in 1983:
Film plus psychoanalysis equals a science of ghosts. Modern technology, contrary to appearances, although it is scientific, increases tenfold the power of ghosts. The future belongs to ghosts (Derrida & Stiegler, 2002, 115).
The lines were improvised, Derrida explains with regret. In the filming of this part of the film, in which he had been directed to say to his fellow performer, Pascale Ogier, only ‘And what about you, do you believe in ghosts?’, Derrida had improvised, binding the future – haunted as it was to be by this act of recording on camera – to the spectral.
Pascale Ogier’s subsequent death drew Derrida into recollection of looking into her eyes, at the request of the director, with her having instructed him in establishing what filmmakers call ‘the eyeline’, looking at her looking at him, and responding to his question by saying, ‘Yes, now I do, yes’. Ten years on, Derrida recalls this act of recording, and this exchange, along with Ogier’s subsequent death. Seeing the film again, Derrida recalls the uncanny spectrality at work in the scene staged for the camera, the ‘spectre of her spectre’ reminding him of the spectrality of her having said ‘now’, the ‘now’ that haunted the past with repetition, death and future, the now of ‘in this dark room on another continent, in another world, now, yes, believe me, I believe in ghosts’ (Derrida & Stiegler, 2002, 119/20).
In this paper on the photographs by Roger Ballen, I want to propose that Derrida’s account of the gaze of the spectral other can inform us concerning the uncanny monstrosity of Ballen’s photographs of those, as he has said, whom he has got to know and photographed in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa. I shall argue here that Ballen’s work, at its best, achieves an uncanniness that opens the time of viewing to a sense of the otherness of the other, an otherness that enables us to imagine a preoccupation by otherness, in particular via the scenario-isations of being visible that the photographer has encouraged at least some of those he has photographed to stage. This preoccupation by otherness, an otherness that is not simply to be observed, but is staged through a variety of means of being and making visible, may turn us towards a thought of the others with whom those photographed exist, perhaps on another continent, often in dark rooms, in other worlds, as it were, but also in relation to other worlds: worlds across which others, animate, human, as well as inanimate and animal, haunt those photographed by Ballen.
In this paper, then, I shall be seeking to give an account of being haunted by haunting: sharing in the haunted lives of others via Ballen’s photographs such that a sense of being social may be understood to be remarkable as political. I shall be proposing that Ballen’s work concerns what may be termed the places if not precisely the communities in which he has worked in this way – given that this being haunted that emerges as part of existence of those he has photographed interrupts any clear sense of community, present or to come. Ballen’s haunted work, I shall argue, recalls us to a sense of the political of communicating in view of preoccupations by others who do not share a common relation to histories and futures of racism that Ballen’s work conjures with, without conjuring away.
In relation to what is understandably his inherited concern as a photographer for the sites of existence of people that is nevertheless characteristically underrated in dominant discourses of photography, the trajectory of Ballen’s work is more often than not described as being from the documentary to the aesthetic. On the contrary, Ballen’s work uncovers a problematic of relatedness to otherness that requires an understanding of the unhomeliness of the sites of a more or less domestic existence. What is monstrous, I shall be arguing, in a sense of the notion of the monstrous that Derrida’s work has instructed us in – namely, the new – emerges, in excess of the malformed, the deformed or the unformed, as a provisionality of occupation, a sharing with others paradoxically known but unknown to the sharer: a space of visibility in which spectrality and monstrosity share, as the newly haunting, that complicates and co-exists with any model of possession, of self or home as site of dwelling, or of autonomous, self-determining future. “It is in this space [of inheritance], this home outside itself, that the spectre comes,” Derrida remarks, later in that same interview (Derrida & Stiegler, 2002, 132).
I shall endeavour, in my conclusion here, to suggest what this political understanding of otherness and relations with others and site as other may imply concerning the significance of the new South Africa that Ballen’s work invites us – wherever we are – to take on. Ballen himself, however, has strongly resisted associating his work with the place of its emergence. Derrida’s account of the spectrality of the gaze of the other provides a framework in relation to which the effect of being addressed, as if summoned, by the look of the photographed other can be understood: thus, Ballen’s work can be understood to communicate not a particular belief or opinion or even position about those living often in apparently impoverished circumstances in, around or outside the metropolises of South Africa, but rather a sort of sharing out and sharing in of the problematics of the understanding of others and where they live, apparently observable as such, the objects of beliefs, opinions about and positions on contemporary life.
At odds with some of the discourses of value as well as practices of contemporary photography, despite being widely collected and sold, Ballen’s square medium-format camera images appear to eschew digital manipulation, as he does working in colour (Ingeldew, 2005, 81). This return or turn to older analogue technology has proved somewhat awkward for commentators, but it is, I think, the insistence on a particular working with a particular field of view, a working that in turn insists on a problematic of the look of the photographer, that marks Ballen’s authorship as itself haunting some of the brave new worlds of digital photographic work with a series of spectralities: of analogue photography and the look of the photographer as well as those of photographed others.
It is this that makes Derrida’s remarks concerning the future and ghosts particularly relevant here. The problem with Derrida’s remark associating the one with the other, the occasion of his regret, is in its assigning of the spectral to the future, as if the present might be protected from the look of the finite and mortal other, the other who ‘concerns me’ while exceeding me ‘infinitely and universally’, making of me an inheritor of the look that spectralises. The staging of the filmed scene involving the schooling in eyeline and the acting in relation the look of the other drew a sense of a future to come which would belong to ghosts. As Derrida comments, it is as if everything that tends to come under the heading of image and technology ‘were on display: a collection of objects, things we see, spectacles in front of us, devices we might use’, as if by means of camera-related technologies we might put off the solicitation by the look of the other for a future-to-come, albeit a future of more and more ghosts (Derrida & Stiegler, 2002, 121/2).
The sense that the monstrous new of the technological other is deflected into ‘devices we might use’ as if to overcome the problematic ‘infinitely-finite world’ of the other is sustained in Derrida’s account of photography in this same interview. Commenting on Barthes’s account of photography as an ‘emanation of the referent’, a recording of ‘radiations that come to touch me’, Derrida extends a thought of the importance of touch to camera images more generally:
When Barthes grants such importance to touch in the photographic experience, it is insofar as the very thing that one is deprived of, as much as in spectrality as in the gaze which looks at images, is indeed tactile sensitivity. The desire to touch, the tactile effect or affect, is violently summoned by its very frustration, summoned to come back, like a ghost, in the places haunted by its absence. (Derrida & Stiegler, 2002, 115)
Photography, for Derrida, is not uniquely a medium in which the other haunts us as referent, but is rather a camera-mode among others – or a series of camera-modes, a series that the digital, for example, becomes part of – that solicits a desire for touch, from either side as it were, as photographed as well as viewer. Ballen’s images are repeatedly crossed by traces of touch as if to seek to come to terms with the power of the camera to render visible that which appears as real as the touchable. This solicitation of the traces of touch, however, only confirms the distancing that the photographs of the photographed enact, rendering the site a scene of the acting out of an overcoming of being televised, of being visible from a distance and subject to as well as subject of spectralising powers.
It is not surprising that Ballen’s career has been represented as the shift from the documentary or social documentary to the artistic or aesthetic. Born in the US, trained as a geologist, Ballen also grew up among photographers: his mother worked for the Magnum photographic agency as a picture researcher and opened the first photography gallery in New York City in 1962. His first collection of photographs, Boyhood, a book published in 1979 was shot in South America and Europe as well as South Africa, after he had moved there in 1974. Working part-time for mining concerns in South Africa, Ballen published Dorps in 1986, his first collection of photographs of people and places taken solely there. His subsequent collections, Platteland: Images of Rural South Africa(1994), Outland (2001) and Shadow Chamber (2005) have all been shot in South Africa, apparently in something of a ‘narrower and narrower’ radius, as he put it. He has admitted, ‘I tend to go to the same place, to the same people, over and over again,’ linking, in a perhaps minimally open and paratactical fashion, the twin concerns of his work (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2003). A brief selection from these intense and complex series of photographs is difficult to make, but those selected here, from Old Man, Ottoschoop, 1983 [figure 1] from Dorps to One Arm Goose, 2004 [figure 8] fromShadow Chamber may suggest how Ballen’s career tends to be represented as a shift from the social and documentary to the staged and the aesthetic.
Figure 1 Old Man, Ottoschoop, 1983 from Dorps, 1986
Figure 8 One Arm Goose, 2004 from Shadow Chamber 2005
There is another way, however, to conceive of what drew Ballen into a persistent concern with those he met in relation to the places he has photographed them. Old Man, Ottoschoop, of 1983, may stand as a notional beginning of this concern to photograph not just places and their people, but to photograph people in places, or more precisely in relation to marked sites. The dark shadow that falls across the yoke of the old man’s coat appears to obscure the white marks on the wall behind him, making of this a complex black and white image of white and black: a black man with white-edged beard, edged by the dark shadow that obscures the enigmatic white grid-like markings beyond him, that echo or are echoed by the odd white marks on his dark coat that does not wholly obscure the white collar emerging from behind it and which frames his face and look, from his white and dark eyes. The incipient smile we might try to read as part of a wider ideological meaning, concerning the dutiful or ironically dutiful pre-post-apartheid South African black man. We might, however, also find ourselves reading it in relation to the more internal play of black and white here, and the possibility of a collusion between photographer and photographed, about the site and its markings. Not quite separable from site, then, this image may stand as that beginning of the recurrence of people in relation to place as marked site, across Ballen’s subsequent work, at odds with the more traditional and pastoral landscape imagery that is also to be found in Dorps.
Before I continue, though, to insist on the recurrence of this problematic of people and site, it would perhaps be as well to remark Ballen’s apparent resistance to thinking this through in relation to the inherited histories of South Africa, of racism if also the political defeat of apartheid. ‘These photographs are no more about South Africa than about the man in the moon’, Ballen has said (The Guardian, 2002). But what if it could be argued that these photographs are about the very spectrality that links such a figure as the man in the moon with South Africa? No longer a polity under white minority rule, divided up along lines of colour according to an unsurpassed systematic racism, South Africa yet brings with it spectralities of racist discrimination and policy that cannot not haunt its other senses of future. The man in the moon as a literary figure would not just be a character in narratives told to or by children – Ballen’s work returns often enough to figures of children – but would also be a way of making sense for a narrativisation of the visible, part of a way in which a certain culture, in this case, Western culture, albeit with certain and uncertain addressees, makes sense of something seen. The man in the moon would thus be a way of making it seem as if something seen could see us too, giving face and gaze to the visible. The moon also relays light: finding the features of the face of a man in the moon invites it to be imagined that this face survives any blinding by light, allowing for it to negotiate the tension between the televising of being visible and the look of the other, the reduction of the anxiety of the one conducting a reduction of anxiety of the other, producing the benignant, if not benign character.
Is that what Ballen meant, by comparing South Africa with the man in the moon, that his work is about re-opening such identifications as would re-gather around such a benignant figure of vision in the visible, the gaze of a white light/face, to malignancy? Ballen’s work has indeed drawn comments concerning the dark or satanic. In what follows, I shall aim rather to re-open Ballen’s work to questions of what lies between the spectral and the monstrous, or at least what conducts us insistently between them in his photographs.
Figure 2 Diamond digger and son standing on bed,
In her account of Merleau-Ponty’s late ‘The Intertwining – The Chiasm’, published as the last chapter of his unfinished The Visible and the Invisible, Luce Irigaray interweaves a series of questionings that would expose the limitations, the framings, and the interests that dictate them, of Merleau-Ponty’s account of the renewal of knowing through an account of the experience of vision. Claiming to dismiss the ‘polarity’ of subject and object, as Irigaray points out, Merleau-Ponty:
retains this polarity: seer/visible, which presupposes… that the visible, still invisible in its resting place, would have vision and could give it to or take it away from the seer. (Irigaray, 1993, 153)
Critical of his account of the superposition of the visible onto the tangible that repeats the ‘exorbitant privileging of vision in our culture’, Irigaray argues that ‘the tangible is, and remains, primary in its opening. Its touching on, of, and by means of the other’ (Irigaray, 1993, 174 author’s emphasis). The insistence on the traces of touch and gesture in Ballen’s photographs that, given its apparent intensification over the course of his several collections, from the white marks on the wall behind the old black man in Old Man, Ottoschoop of 1983, via the various scenes of pictures and things hung on or held up to walls, as in Diamond digger and son standing on bed, Western Transvaal, 1987 [figure 2] to the startling gesture of the young black arm that holds up the dead goose head of One Arm Goose of 2005 (not to mention more recent photographs collected after the drafting of this essay as Boarding House) might be seeking to return us to an Irigarayan sense of the primacy of the tangible in aesthesis.
Figure 5 Tommy, Samson and a Mask, 2000 from Outland 2001
Figure 6 Skew Mask 2001 from Shadow Chamber 2005
Figure 7 Head Inside Shirt, 2001 from Shadow Chamber, 2005
Derrida’s observations concerning the desire for the effect or affect of touch that is solicited by photography allows us to connect this insistence, however, to the touch of the photographer-author, clicking the camera shutter. To do so can help to uncover a sense of the monstrous that concerns what these photographs show us of where these dramas of touch were staged. In a DVD recording shown at the Otherness and the Artsconference, Irigaray spoke of welcoming the other in the space and place of hospitality with an apparent frankness that included referring to our beds. Haunted as I am by this particular spectral calling, I want to argue, however, that some of Ballen’s photographs – such as Tommy, Samson and the Mask [figure 5], Skew Mask [figure 6], Head Inside Shirt [figure 7] as well as One Arm Goose – show us sites that, in their state of use or adaptation, resist senses of dwelling and home that, for me, suggest that relations between others and their others shown in Ballen’s photographs render such notions of the oikos or home, with their hierarchies of privacy, traditional and of limited value.
For what in these photographs exceeds the spectrality of the gaze of the other human or animal, the gaze that haunts us from the represented past present of the spaces of photography, with all of their feints to disturb, shock or surprise our look, are the indicators of the ways in which the distance or nearness of the sites and spaces of habitation are confused. Catching our eye with dramas of black and white, since Old Man, Ottoschorp, Ballen’s photographs generate uncertainties and anxieties of the mutual locatability of wall and space, the space that would be given by the wall, as regular or reliable, often via the marks that remark them, making of these sites something monstrously new: not merely lacking shape, they are hauntingly shapeless and, as the site of what may seem to be, at first thought, just transgressive markings or posings, are rather where those who know that they are ‘known’ visibly, black or white, are staged as visible, as if responding to becoming spectral for their audience of unknown, if not unknowable others.
The new, Derrida argues in the conclusion to his essay ‘Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences’, is preoccupied by the figure of the child, the birth to come: ‘the formless, mute, infant and terrifying form of monstrosity’ (Derrida, 1978, 293). Ballen’s photographs are drawn to the figure of the child, and even to the childlike adult, as a way of communicating the new of the co-habitation of black and white in spaces that are haunted by violent hierarchies. In so far as One Arm Goose recalls a space of retreat and confinement, of hiding from the gaze while threatening to remind us of a return of repressed or not so repressed impulses to dismember or at least symbolically to disable the white, the props of educative play and extended rural domesticity of Afrikaner culture, it also invites us to recall or imagine the oppression of black Africans particularly in the territorial history of apartheid. Inherited in the play of a black child, this would be an uncanny re-enactment that, in its pass at repairing the body of the imaginable white other, would stage a question of whose sense of dwelling it is that comes undone across this liminal space of the wooden bed-head.
Figure 4 Elias coming out from under John’s Bed, 1999 from Outland 2003
I could return to Old Man, Ottoschoop, Elias coming out from under John’s bed [figure 4] or Tommy, Samson and the Mask to try to suggest how the white of a black man’s beard, or the white of a black boy’s eyes or a black boy’s mask recalls the being-visible for the white gaze, the spectral white racist look. Variously taken up across those scenes, in white markings on the wall beyond, the eyes of a white man or those of a black boy looking back at us, this spectrality is also displaced, in favour of a disturbance of a locatability of the blinding effects of light: the visible, still harbouring invisibility, but no longer in relation to a ‘resting place’.
Irigaray’s questioning of Merleau-Ponty’s masculinist humanism of vision, his account of the reversibility of seer and seen as the model experience of vision as knowing, reads the retention of the seer-seen polarity as the refusal of the subjective loss of the feminine other in its drive to reappropriate the visible as the tangible – what Merleau-Ponty elsewhere called the space of the ‘I can!’ of vision. This refusal of ‘loss’ is also, for Irigaray, the exclusion of the sexuate other, the sexed and sexual other. But which feminine other would be ‘lost’ here? For Irıgaray, the pre-subjective pre-natal being touched becomes the post-natal withdrawal and exclusion of the feminine other. Irigaray reminds us of an opening to otherness in tangibility that ought not to be included in the visible. But as Cathryn Vasseleu argues, the refusal to construe the visible as fulfilling the tangible ought to keep open the invisible and in itself intangible source of what enables vision (Vasseleu, 1998, 70-2): or, as Irigaray herself has it, ‘I do not see the source of light that allows me to see’ (Irigaray, 1993, 163). The otherness of a mother is not found in the split between the uncanny tangible and a televising and spectral gaze – though, indeed, this split would be what often seems normal enough.
Figure 3 Dresie and Casie, Twins, Western Transvaal, 1993
These arguments may be developed further so as to defend Ballen’s work from charges that have been levelled against it that it is, as aesthetic, rather than social and documentary-like photography, depoliticized, betraying what is needed in the new South Africa. Ballen’s work has been controversial at least since Platteland of 1994. The photograph Desie and Casie, Twins, Western Transvaal [figure 3] appears to invite responses concerned with race and degeneration. The defence would be that even this photograph is staged, with one of the twins acting up to such judgements of degenerateness by dribbling and staining his shirt. Perhaps Ballen’s work cannot in and of itself be wholly exonerated from an implication in charges of exploitation. Not because this reading of degenerateness might be true, or because Ballen’s authorship is therefore motivated by classic anxieties about race and the stock, but because, even given the acting up of the subject to the camera that might not simply be dictated by the photographer, then the relation to imagined others – us, the viewers – seems, in this case, to be close to being restricted to an act of defiance.
Given his contentions, concerning the man in the moon, and similar, it may be that Ballen’s subsequent work is somewhat haunted by reaction to this controversy. Charlotte Cotton has argued that Ballen’s photographs ‘became more obviously staged compositions of people and animals and the interiors they inhabit’ (Cotton, 2004, 188). This account tends to disavow the sense of the monstrousness of the sites of this staging, as well as the more or less systematic confusion of the touch of the authoring photographer and his others in their sites of habitation. To be fair to Cotton, however, hers is only a variant of Ballen’s own narrative of his career. One way and another, such narratives seem dictated by a desire to account for a relation or non-relation to politics: as Cotton reports it in summary, not without tending to suggest a position: ‘[t]o shift to a more aesthetic and depoliticized territory was seen by some as an inappropriate visualization of post-apartheid South Africa’ (Cotton, 2004, 188).
As suggested, Ballen himself has encouraged this reiteration of the oppositions that still tend to govern the criticism and critical history of photography. Of his later collection,Outland, he states:
[It] consists of work which is much more art than documentary, and I think that a lot of people understood implicitly that the work is not social documentary, it’s aesthetic photography, it’s not making statements about South Africa (qtd. in Southwood, 2001).
The shift from photographing ideally more publically recognizable places becomes a metaphor for depoliticisation, with the photograph as evidence of the pretended act of ‘visualization’, still retaining its connection to the values of humanist ‘art as vision’ or what Irigaray calls seeing as ‘clairvoyance’ (Irigaray, 1993, 154). On cue, Cotton argues that ‘Ballen’s photographs are black and white in the tradition of humanist photography, but without any obvious narrative content that depicts social and political change’ (Cotton, 2004, 188).
The possibility that black and white photography is used by Ballen not so much because he has or hasn’t wished to involve us, via its tendencies to indistinctness and pathos, in scenario-isations of imaginable change, but precisely because its discursivisation recalls the discriminatory racisms of apartheid, if not also reactive black racism, invites one to imagine that Ballen may be responding this difficulty, without exactly knowing what to say about what he is doing. The dominant account of Ballen’s work as artistic rather than political photography means that, for Cotton, this is because it is concerned with ‘the forms that are constructed in the places he photographs’, rather than representing ‘his values and beliefs in the subjects he photographs’ (Cotton, 2004, 188).
Shoring up its exclusion of Ballen’s work from the political and its belonging to the aesthetic by insinuating this notion of ‘forms’, and disavowing the threat of monstrosity that Ballen’s work has more and more insistently suggested, Cotton’s account, like most others, is motivated both by the trouble that these photographs of minors, or impoverished whites and blacks, represent as an apparent refusal of an ideal of a participation in the public spaces of the new republic and by the trouble in the trouble, the negotiation of the traces of otherness that cannot be directed in this way.
Ballen does not, I think, successfully defend himself against such a charge in responses to questioning by an interviewer who begins by recalling claims that, like Diane Arbus, he photographs ‘freaks’. Ballen responds by suggesting that he does not know what is meant by this term or what it is used to refer to. Ballen continues: ‘Taking pictures is a very humorous process, myself and the subjects have a lot of fun’ (qtd. in Southwood, 2001). The possibility that the consequences of ‘very humorous’ processes may not themselves be very humorous seems, however, to be admitted, as he continues:
In my opinion the subjects like the photographs, like the interaction… so in my opinion it’s a positive experience for both of us and that’s the reality of the process. And you get the situation where someone who doesn’t know me makes criticisms about my power relationships, that I have exploited the subjects in some way. But that, to me, is a very biased way of viewing the image, I don’t think it’s even a valid point because the person will never understand my relationship no matter what they do. They have to forget all the social baggage, because it’s all social baggage, and they need to step into the image and stop levelling criticism at my relationship with the subject. They don’t know anything about that, it’s a moot point. It’s like me telling you about your relationship with your mother, what do I know? (qtd. in Southwood, 2001)
Strictly speaking, then, Ballen would have only claimed that it is his opinion that the subjects like the photographs and like the process of composing or staging them. Yet this shades off, via the claim that ‘that’s the reality of the process’, and Ballen is reduced to insisting that one offload all possible knowledge and opinions of the other, including himself as other, in favour of a relationship that is privileged, closed, and essentially private. To draw attention to the preoccupation with touch that traverses this work in photographs, and to the problematic of the maternal and domestic uncanny, is to open ourselves up to the monstrousness of sites of dwelling, the forgetting and remembering of their unknown otherness beyond its assignment as frame of a compensation for a ‘loss’ of an imagined home and its thresholds. Unreliable witness of inventive co-existences, Ballen’s best work exposes that the relation to the other is also a relation to their relatability and relations to others, among whom we are called to count ourselves.
I would like to thank Roger Ballen for his kind permission to use the included images.
Ballen, Roger (1979). Boyhood (New York: Chelsea House)
Ballen, Roger (1986). Dorps: Small Towns of South Africa (Cape Town: Hirt and Carter)
Ballen, Roger (1994). Platteland: Images from Rural South Africa (London: Quartet Books)
Ballen, Roger (2001). Outland (London: Phaidon Press)
Ballen, Roger (2005). Shadow Chamber (London: Phaidon Press)
Cotton, Charlotte (2004). The Photograph as Contemporary Art (London: Thames and Hudson)
Derrida, Jacques (1978). Writing and Difference, tr. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press)
Derrida, Jacques & Stiegler, Bernard (2002). Echographies of Television: Filmed Interviews, tr. Jennifer Bajorek (Cambridge: Polity Press)
Ingledew, John (2005). Photography (London: Laurence King)
Irigaray, Luce (1993). An Ethics of Sexual Difference, trs. Carolyn Burke & Gillian C. Gill (London: Athlone Press)
Vasseleu, Cathryn (1998). Textures of Light: Vision and Touch in Irigarary, Levinas and Merleau-Ponty (London: Routledge)
Southwood, Dave (2001). ‘Interview with Roger Ballen’, Art Throb, no. 47, July 2001,http://www.artthrob.co.za/01july/news-ballen.htm [accessed 28.07.2008]
Michael Hoppen Gallery (2008). ‘Roger Ballen’http://www.michaelhoppengallery.com/artist,show,0,2,0,0,0,0,0,0,roger_ballen.htm[accessed 30.7.2008]
Victoria and Albert Museum (2003). ‘Contemporary Documentary Photography: Interview with Roger Ballen’http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/photography/past_exhns/stepping/index.htm[accessed 30.7.2008]
(2002). ‘Citigroup Photography Prize: Roger Ballen’ The Guardian (2002).http://www.guardian.co.uk/pictures/image/0,8543,-10204347243,00.htm [accessed 31.7.2008]