Wendy Schwegmann was born in 1954 in Zululand, where she spent her youth. She has a diploma in Interior Design from Natal Technical college and is a graduate of the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. She lived in Johannesburg and worked as the South African photographic correspondent for Reuters wire service.

In 1982 she joined Afrapix, a collective photo agency that played a key role in documenting the resistance to apartheid in the 1980s. At the time she was freelancing for Reuters and was a regular contributor to Staffrider.

Schwegmann had a one woman exhibition in 1980 at the Market Photo Gallery in Johannesburg. Her photographs were included in the Staffrider exhibitions of 1983, 1984 and 1985, and she exhibited at the Witwatersrand History Conference in 1984.

Schwegmann contributed to the book South Africa: The Cordoned Heart [Badsha, O (ed). 1986. Cape Town: The Gallery Press] which was prepared to accompany the Second Carnegie Inquiry into Poverty and Development in Southern Africa.

She was posted in London where she continued working for Reuters and then as a photo editor for the Associated Press.

Her works are held in the permanent collection of the South African National Gallery, Cape Town.

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