John Liebenberg was born in 1958, in Johannesburg where he also currently works and lives.

He was introduced to Namibia in 1976 when together with his fellow conscripts he was sent to Ondangwa Air-force base near the border with Angola. He later returned to Namibia and in 1985 was appointed photographer for a new weekly, ‘The Namibian’. Following independence, he and his family moved to Johannesburg, from where he covered the Angolan civil war as freelancer for Reuters. He later joined Media 24 magazines, mostly working for Drum.

He is a senior and established news photographer whose work has been exhibited in Africa and Europe. His Namibian photographic collection documenting Swapo’s War of Liberation and the South African occupation is widely used by historians, researchers and filmmakers. Liebenberg’s exhibitions include Rise and Fall of Apartheid at ICP, New York, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Pac, Milan, Museum Africa, Johannesburg, Namibia at the first African Photography Encounters In Bamako, Framing Fashion at the Brighton Museum, Brighton.



Weekends at the Okomboni, John Muafangejo art centre Windhoek, Namibia


John Liebenberg Photo exhibition, Goethe Institute / Iwalewa- haus Nairobi, Kenya


Namibia of today, The French cultural centre, Windhoek, Namibia
Photographic Encounters, Paris, France

Namibia of Today, Bamako, Mali


Democracy you cannot eat, The State Archive, Bremen, Germany


The Marriage, an exhibition of post independent Namibia, The Namibian arts association, Windhoek, Namibia

Namibia, The red factory, Zurich, Switzerland

Namibia, The Eye, Geneva, Switzerland

The eye of the elephant, Vienna, Austria

The eye of the elephant, The Baxter Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


The eye of the elephant, Namibian arts association, Windhoek, Namibia

Independence exhibition India, Department Arts and Culture Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia

The eye of the elephant, The great hall , University of the

Witwatersrand, for the SA Institute of International affairs, Johannesburg, South Africa

Photographs from Namibia, for the ECC, East London, South Africa


The Rainy season, The Market Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa


Images of Today, Swakopmund, Namibia



1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Industria, New York, USA

2018 – 2019

Framing Fashion, Brighton Museum, Brighton, UK


Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa


A Short History of South African Photography, Time Maps. Memory, Archive, Future, Fotografia Europea , Reggio Emilia, Italy


1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Pioneer Works, New York, USA


1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Afronova, Somerset House, London, UK

2013 – 2015

The Rise and Fall of Apartheid , International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, USA – Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany – Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy – Museum Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa


1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Afronova, Somerset House, London, UK

Every one hundredth of a second, Windhoek, Namibia.


Both sides, Res Gallery, Johannesburg , South Africa

Mekondjo, Portraits of PLAN veterans with Christo

Doherty, Grahamstown National Arts festival, Grahamstown, South Africa


Whose war was it anyway, Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.

Further reading list

Collections in the Archives