Saturday, February 13, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, October 24, 2009
As journalism students, we were told to go out into the townships surrounding Grahamstown and practice "community journalism". We were to engage with the community, address the issue of crime, and find ways to help the situation. At first this was just a project. By the end of it, it was hard to leave. Going out to the township on a regular basis opened our eyes to the fact that there are people living about five minutes away from us who are about a million time less fortunate than we are. They have nothing. And they have to deal with crime on a daily basis.
Over the past six weeks, our group of twelve interviewed residents, photographed them and their homes, and produced tv documentaries. Some days were peaceful, with people willing to talk to us and work with us to find solutions to the crime in their area. Some days were not so peaceful, with mobs of people surrounding us, throwing stones and telling us to leave. But on the whole, we felt we did make a difference. The community, through watching and reading what we had produced, realised what the core problems were, and listened to our suggestions for a resolution. It is now up to them.
But as I sit here typing this on my own compter, in my own safe room, after just taking a hot shower, I think about the people who have nothing. People who would do anything for a little money, food and clothing. And I think, who are we to invade their homes, interrogate them about their personal strife, photograph their private spaces, and point a tv camera in their faces whenever they open their mouths? Who are we to tell them what to do?
See an overview of the whole project on our group blog, "Xhasa" here.