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A photo series 'Quarantine in the townships' in South Africa by Rubis Mécénat

BY Chloe Villefayot | 03-Jun-2020
Of Soul and Joy is a plateform for learning photography initiated by the endowment fund Rubis Mécénat in Tokoza, South Africa. The mentor and project manager of this socio-cultural programme, Jabulani Dhlamini, gave a photographic commission to the young photographers during the quarantine: the sanitary crisis in South Africa as seen from the townships of Johannesburg.
photo credit: Jabulani Dhlamini, Quarantine in the townships, April 2020
Following the quarantine measures and school closure in South Africa, the Of Soul and Joy programme, paused its activities. In order to stay in touch with the young photographers and to pursue their artistic training, the photographer and project manager Jabulani Dhlamini asked them to realize a home based photographic series to reflect on their experience and feeling visually of the sanitary crisis. The cameras usually available for the workshops were landed to the students.

The programme is now gradually resuming its activities with one-on-one sessions. In parallel, the young photographers pursue the artistic project.

Discover on Instagram the works of Thobeka Nzwana, Sibusiso Sthonga, Sikelela Mdilikwana and Litha Kanda, photographers from the Of Soul and Joy project, and their mentor Jabulani Dhlamini, on the Covid-19 crisis in South-African townships.

Of Soul and Joy is a lasting social and artistic initiative undertaken in 2012 by Rubis Mécénat and Easigas (Rubis Group’s South African subsidiary) in Thokoza, a township in the southeast of Johannesburg in South Africa in the East Rand. Its goal is to develop artistic skills in the field of photography amongst the township’s vulnerable youth by providing an understanding of photography as a means of expression, in order to open up new personal and professional horizons. Weekly workshops are led by renowned photographers. It also fosters encounters with art professionals and the opportunity to participate in art related events both in Africa and abroad.

Each year the most promising students are awarded a scholarship to pursue their studies in photography in a university of their choice, such as the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg.

The project is led by Jabulani Dhlamini, South-African photographer represented by the Goodman Gallery and Of Soul and Joy Project Manager since 2015.