David Lurie was born in Cape Town. He studied economics, politics and philosophy and taught philosophy at the University of Cape Town. From 1980 to 1985 he undertook research in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics, and co-edited Millenium, Journal of International Studies, after which he worked as a consultant-economist in London. A self-taught photographer, he began doing documentary projects part-time in 1990 and full-time in 1995.
After living in London for 31 years, Lurie moved back to Cape Town in 2011.

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