Terry Kurgan is an artist and writer based in Johannesburg. Her artistic interest is in photography, and her focus—across a broad range of media—is on the volatile and complex relationship between photography and fiction.
Kurgan received her BAFA from the California School of Arts in San Francisco, her MFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, and her MA in Creative Writing from Wits University in Johannesburg.
She has exhibited and published widely—in South Africa and internationally—and over the years, received numerous prestigious Fine Art awards.
Kurgan has more recently turned to creative non-fiction to uncover a haunting family history, passed down through two generations, inflecting her own experience of the world. Her book, “Everyone is Present” was shortlisted for the Photo Arles Book Prize (France), was selected as a Finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards (USA), and won what is considered to be South Africa’s premier non-fiction literary prize, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award.
She is currently a Research Associate at WiSER, The Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where she is at work on a new book project. She supervises on the Masters in Creative Writing Programme at the same university, and is co-director (with Bronwyn Law-Viljoen) of the independent publishing project, Fourthwall Books. Her previous books are Hotel Yeoville (2013), and Johannesburg Circa Now, co-edited with Jo Ractliffe (2005).