Politics, Law, Arts, Society

Thursday, 19 January 2006 04:00

Latest technology brings SA history back to life

Written by  Creda
Authentic photographs depicting South African people from all walks of life against a backdrop of wagons in a wild terrain depicts a 19th Century Africa as few have seen before. With its skilled DTP application to considerably aged photographs and glass plates, a local graphic communications company has succeeded in bringing an era in South African history back to life.
An honest and beautifully detailed hunting journal by well-known doctor, surgeon and traveler in his time, JBS Greathead, is a book that sheds new light on another time in this country. And with Premier Ebrahim Rasool’s recent statement announcing the province’s new focus will be on the “reflection of the Western Cape’s history”, what better time to appreciate recordings and photographic accounts of a time way before our own.

The African Travel and Hunting Journals of JBS Greathead 1884 – 1910 offers photographic evidence of a period during which South Africa was undergoing profound change. The photographs and explanatory diaries depict people from different racial and cultural backgrounds. They also portray the political structure of the 19th Century, as well as the diseases prevalent and the vegetation and animal life in the regions in which Greathead lived and traveled.

Technology has enabled one man’s very personal account of his surroundings to help fill in the gaps that exist in South African history. As such, the photographs in this journal are of particular significance because they offer some of the only photographic portrayals of the time. An extremely delicate and painstaking DTP process achieved by Creda Communications was used to scan these aged prints and glass plates and some images were carefully retouched where the quality needed to be maintained and improved.

The journal tells the story of a lifetime of travels rather than one single journey. Hunters and game farmers are among those who find the book a fascinating read.

This historical hunting masterpiece is edited by Greathead’s great grandson, David Gess. Gess comments, “My great grandfather was an adventurous man. His extensive travels within Africa are meticulously recorded in his diaries and photographs, many of which depict scenes not otherwise available.”

Gess continues, “Part of my inspiration for having these diaries published, was because Greathead honestly reflected his observations in his private diaries, which were not written to promote any cause or designed for publication, and they therefore make a contribution to our understanding of life at the time.”

The African Travel and Hunting Journals of JBS Greathead 1884 – 1910 is a limited edition and can be found at Select Books and Clarkes Bookshop, both in Long Street.

Contact Details
Name : Elizabeth Senger
Company : Creda
Phone :021 425 7111
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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