The Billy Monk Collection is the official custodian of the late Billy Monk’s photographic archive and exists with the support of his heirs. The collection depicts a rich slice of the hidden dockside world of 1960s Cape Town that until now has not been fully revealed to the public.
Monk’s black and white images of underground nightlife are both tragic and beautiful, and shed light on an illicit world in the grip of South Africa’s apartheid regime. They provide a refreshing take on the imagery commonly seen from this period. Conversely, Monk illuminated a cross section of society that congregated below ground in clubs like the Catacombs to dance, drink and momentarily ignore the dividing laws above ground.
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