free hit counter code Photographers capture Election Day and reflect on the country’s democratic journey –

Photographers capture Election Day and reflect on the country’s democratic journey

Sometimes the magnitude of an occasion might go over one’s head, in the present.

But looking at photos of time past, people get a chance to reflect on the significance of a day such as the elections, in a country’s history.

It is 29 May, election day, when South Africans have a say on which political party they wish to decide the country’s fate.

Early risers queue to cast their vote

This is said to be the most contested vote, also historic as it marks the 30th year of electoral democracy.

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30 years later

With this in mind, the Thokoza-based community photo programme Of Soul and Joy (OSJ) is undertaking a special project in which its students capture their environment and surroundings on the day of the election.

The aim of this project is to showcase this landmark event from the lens of arguably South Africa’s most important, yet understated stakeholder in this election, its youth.

OSJ’s Program Manager Jabulani Dhlamini said the idea to undertake this project came after reflecting on South Africa’s 30th year of electoral democracy.

“I couldn’t take photographs because I was not a photographer then, but I was thinking about what archive or conversation could’ve been archived at that time [in 1994],” Dhlamini told The Citizen.

He was 11 when South African cast their first democratic vote in 1994.

Ready to make a mark

“Photographs were done by mostly journalists and older people; the voice of the young ones was muted in a way. We’re allowing the young ones to archive with the purpose of re-looking and engaging where we’re coming from,” averred Dhlamini.

Students who will be taking these photos throughout Election Day are between the ages of 16-24. “They will be working from Thokoza because that’s where most of them are based,” said Dhlamini.

During the early 1990s, Thokoza was in the middle of unrest between the supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the African National Congress (ANC).

Dhlamini said in conjunction with the current Election Day project, SOJ has also been working on an assignment reflecting on life in that township for more than 30 years since that violent period leading up to the 1994 elections.

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