The starting point for his animations are charcoal sketches. These sketches are drawn, redrawn, erased and worked to give a sense of motion. The topics allude to important events in South Africa's recent history, the Sharpeville massacre, the release of Nelson Mandela and the abolition of Apartheid for instance.
The series 10 Drawings for Projection (1989-2011) marked a breakthrough for Kentridge. He became known on the international stage as an artist engaged with developments in his native country.
In an interview, Kentridge discussed his work: ‘I have never tried to make illustrations of apartheid, but the drawings and films are certainly spawned by and feed off the brutalized society left in its wake. I am interested in a political art, that is to say, an art of ambiguity, contradiction, uncompleted gestures and uncertain endings.’