“Wits is not a safe community,” first-year students told.
This year’s tranformation photography competition celebrated diversity and “identity through hair” at Wits University. Winners were announced last night at an exhibition at the John Moffat Building showcasing the best of the photographs submitted by students.
The competition, run by the Wits Transformation Office, was described by Prof Tawana Kupe (Wits deputy vice-chancellor), as “an important occasion that happens every year.”
“A picture shows a thousand words about identity… Art expresses transformation, it also feeds into identities,” he said.
Ntokozo Xaba, 3rd year BSc Urban Regional Planning won the competition with her photograph of a young woman standing on a rooftop in Hillbrow, overlooking the city.
Xaba said because she lives in Hillbrow, she can’t afford the luxury of taking a walk outside for fresh air. “So, I go to the rooftop to unwind and get inspired.”
Lanice Jegels, 3rd year BA Psychology took second place. The subjects in her photograph, all women, were of different races, body shapes and had different hairstyles. “The world informs us on how to express identity … In South Africa we see identity as colour,” she said.
Marcel Kutumela took 3rd place, Lindiwe Gugushe took 4th place and Realeboga Oagile was placed 5th. Junaid Sheik Hussein, 2nd year BSc Civil Eng, won on the public vote via Facebook, for the second year in a row.
The theme, “identity through hair” was selected as people are discriminated against because of their different hair types. Instead, “we should use hair to celebrate diversity,” said Pura Mgolombane, manager of diversity, ethics & social justice at the Transformation Office.
Winning entries will be part of the new exhibition about hair and African art at the Wits Art Museum.
- Wits Vuvuzela. Photography exhibition illuminates he inner city. April 24, 2013.