Peter Collins: James Cameron and the Tabora Hotel

James Cameron, image courtesy of Peter Collins

If there was a golden age of journalism, then surely James Cameron represented Great Britain. You could throw in the Commonwealth countries and its former colonies for good measure, for he would have invariably visited them all, drank in their bars, met their dignitaries and moved amongst their people.

Born in 1911, Mark James Walter Cameron learnt the rudiments of his trade in the offices of Scottish newspapers before heading south to London’s Daily Express and eventually a life on the road as a foreign correspondent and a role which would define not only Cameron the man but the standard for journalists to follow the world over.

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Peter Collins: People Like Us

“’What do you come from Europe for? To make pictures you take back to England. But my people stay here! Living like this!’ He gestured violently toward a filthy gaunt old woman selling roasted mealies in the gutter, at the queues of lurching drinkers…” as Paul Hogarth packed away his paper, pens and pencils on a hot and dusty Johannesburg street corner he took the brunt of a young black man’s frustration of life in 1950s South Africa. It would set the tone for much of his journey across the continent and beyond wherever the disparity between the wealthiest and poorest was most acute, but Hogarth never shied from recording both extremes, in fact he reveled in it.

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