James Oatway is an independent South African photographer. He studied Journalism at Rhodes University.
The former Chief Photographer and Picture Editor of the Sunday Times newspaper, he has been freelancing since 2016. He is extremely passionate about telling under reported stories in Africa - his home continent. His work revolves mostly around themes of political and social inequality and the people affected by conflict.
His work has been recognised with various international awards including multiple Pictures of the Year International (PoYI) awards. In 2015 he was named the South African Journalist of the Year.
His images have been published in The Guardian, The New York Times, TIME, Science, Colors, Paris-Match and others. He has been commissioned by various Non-Governmental Organisations such as: Open Society Foundation (OSF); Doctors Without Borders (MSF); One.org; Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI); Amnesty International; The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER); Oxfam and Action Aid among others. He has also worked with UNICEF, WHO and the UNHCR. He does regular work for Reuters.
On 18 April 2015, he photographed a fatal attack by South African men on Mozambican migrant Emmanuel Sithole. The images of the attack sparked outrage and made international headlines.
In 2015, he was on the judging panel for the News Division of the 72nd Pictures of the Year International (PoYI) Awards at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
He has taught documentary photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg and often speaks at learning institutions.
Oatway is a member of Panos Pictures.