"I am a criminal. In the eyes of the law I am a criminal."
As one of the thousands of students involved in the #FeesMustFall & #EndOutsourcing protests that shut down South African universities, these where the last words I imagined myself mumbling. Yet there I was, being marched into the back of a police van, my only crimes being my pursuit of affordable education, and fair treatment of my fellow South Africans.
The sad reality that us South Africans face is that despite being freed from the clasps of Apartheid over 2 decades ago, people of color are still being oppressed and marginalized. This oppression does not manifest itself in the same violent manner as pre-1994, it rather destroys lives in a more systematic 'legal' method. By excluding the majority of the nation from acquiring quality education, through exorbitant fees, one perpetuates and endorses the Apartheid status quo. The continual commodification of education, coupled with the mistreatment of the working class that services the universities, served as the catalyst to the protest movement that not only brought universities across the country to a halt, but also showed us youth the true power we posses.
Armed only with my Canon 1200D I joined the masses, seeking to document and portray the movement in the light it deserved, free from the bias and fear mongering that the media begun to attach to it.
As one individual cannot show all the nuances of a movement such as this, I have updated this page to include the images below, captured by fellow photographers on the ground.
Due to the abhorrent practises of this photographer coming to light, 328PM can no longer display their images