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Biography of Ken OOSTERBROEK

South Africa > Arts : Ken OOSTERBROEK

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Born on 14/02/1963 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Ken Oosterbroek born February 14, 1963- died April 18,1994 was a  South African photojournalist and member of The Bang-Bang Club. He worked for The Star in Johannesburg, which was South Africa's biggest daily broadsheet. He won numerous photography awards for his work. He initially struggled to get his start in photography, going from paper to paper trying to get a job based on photos he'd taken illegally of fellow conscripts during his military service in southern Angola. Years later, in 1989, he achieved his first success, winning the Ilford Award (South African Press Photographer of the Year).


Oosterbroek was killed by friendly-fire in Thokoza township, about 25km east of Johannesburg, on April 18, days prior to the 1994 elections in South Africa, the first free elections that ended apartheid. He and other photographers were covering a clash between peacekeepers and the African National Congress when the peacekeepers opened fire and shot Oosterbroek and fellow Bang-Bang Club member Greg Marinovich.


The Bang Bang Club was the name given to four young photographers; Greg Marinovich , Kevin Carter  Ken Oosterbroek and Joao Silva, whose photographs captured the final bloody days of white rule in South Africa. Two were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their acclaimed work.

Two members won Pulitzer Prizes for their photography. Greg Marinovich won the Pulitzer for Spot News Photography in 1991 for his coverage of the killing of Lindsaye Tshabalala in 1990. Kevin Carter won the Pulitzer for Featured Photography in 1994 for his 1993 photograph of a vulture that appeared to be stalking a starving child in southern Sudan.

Last update : 10/05/2011

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