The murderous pogrom against migrants and refugees in South Africa has now claimed 62 people murdered and thousands homeless at last count. I have been struck by the haphazard official response by the South African government (apart from rhetorical commitments) and the country’s political leadership (President Thabo Mbeki, hiding in a TV studio, to this day has not visited a single area affected by the violence or publicly stood next to migrants reassuring migrants that they’re welcome.) While South African media have a dubious past when it comes to covering immigration issues, some creatives are exception. A group of Johannesburg-based filmmakers — angry and disappointed at the outbreak of violence, bigotry and ignorance — has just announced an effort to produce eight 30-second public service announcements for broadcast on South African public television. They also plan to make six 30-minute documentaries around this theme. For more information on the project, see here). [BTW South African filmmakers have not shied away from this theme in the past. From “God is African” by Akin Omotoso, “Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon” by Khalo Matabane, the short film “The Foreigner” by Zola Maseko to more recently Darrell Roodt’s new film “Zimbabwe” (I have not seen the last film).]
* The images above are from the photographer Dulce Pincon’s photo series, “The Real Superheroes,” that elevate immigrant workers, if only in photographs, to larger than live figures. See here.