African Women Voices
“I heard the blacks are attacking the place,” says E.C. as he goes on all fours to his bathroom and climbs the window in it. In the picture he’s wearing his pijama, and the legs it’s all that’s visible. When Ilvy Njiokiktjien took the picture she knew that was a reaction E.C. has learnt during a camp training in South Africa. In fact, she started a project about E.C. training camps given that young white boys there learn how to hate black people.
Ilvy Njiokiktjien today presented her latest work during Visa Pour L’image, the photojournalism festival taking place in Perpignan, France until September 16.
Two years ago she and the videographer Elles van Gelder followed the right-wing organisation Koomandokorps in South Africa. During a camp, young South Africans are taught how to defend themselves from the “small-brained” black people. The camp is led by an apartheid leader Franz Jooste and it comprehends psychological and heavy physical training. The main idea is that white and black people should not integrate with each other and that Mandela’s idea of a rainbow country should fail.
The multimedia project called Afrikaner Blood was awarded the Canon Female Photojournalist Award in 2011. This allowed Ilvy to go back to the boys’ families and work on a follow up project. This time she followed the kids in their daily life in South Africa and portrayed the distance between white and black South African of the post-apartheid generation.
“There is a very strong division. For example at school black students all sit on the left and white students sit on the right row in the classroom.
“No one said it has to be like that but it happens.”
The exhibition Afrikaner Blood/The Born Free Generation by Ilvy Njiokiktjien is taking place at the Couvent des Minimes in Perpignan until September 16.
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