Mads Nørgaard is a Danish-born photographer who has spent the last decade of his life documenting and capturing the Mother City and her people.

His work is, by and large, a body of social documentation. The subject of his lens shifts: from exploring the transport networks and systems around Cape Town and the people, conversations and dynamics that exist within that; to shining a light on the youth, and some of the challenges faced by young people in the country’s oldest town. Mads has used photography – being able to distil a living moment into one single picture – as a way of engaging with people, of gathering stories and insights that stand as a record of what took place. This has inspired a deep and abiding passion for, and interest in, Mitchell’s Plain, its people, its neighbourhoods and the constant struggle against a wide array of socio-economic and historical issues.

Mads’ love for people, for engagement and the ‘overlooked ordinary’ of Cape Town has seen him become involved in a number of projects. This includes work with Cold Turkey, a vibrant and unique collective which aimed to provide a recreational space for the youth; signing up as co-editor of the Bonani Africa 2010 exhibition, conferene and publication; and providing editorial input and webmaster services for South African History Online, a website that aims to tell the history of the people, as it happened to them.

Well aware of the often exploitative nature of photography, Mads is out to capture the moments of joy, successes and unity among communities and people in the place he calls his home.

More info on his website –

Interview with Mads Nørgaard for VISI