Originally from Grahamstown (in the Eastern Cape of South Africa), Katharine Cooper (1978), left her native country in 1986 to settle in Zimbabwe. In Harare, she went to school with the Dominican sisters and started learning photography from her journalist father, using his Nikkormat at first before progressing to a Leica M4 and the Hasselblad 500c medium format camera she continues to use today. At the age of nineteen, she left Africa to do a B.A Honours Photography at the Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. In 2000 she moved to Arles where she graduated in 2004 with honours from the renowned Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles (ENSP). Between 2004 and 2013 Cooper made many visits back to Africa, mainly to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. In this period she also worked as the darkroom printer for the late photographer Lucien Clergue (and co-founder of the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in Arles).
Mahmoud & Bachar by the Melqar Temple, Amrit, Syria 2018