26 October 2012

Inyanda Youth Project

I have just finished shooting a two day project helping a fellow photographer Sally Mellish cover an event held by the Inyanda Youth Project in Phillipi, Cape Town. This youth project was designed to create social cohesion between the youth in impoverished areas through sports, art and culture.

This workshop invited individuals from the community with a strong interest in the performing arts to take part in a two day program culminating with an opportunity to audition for a place in a four month intensive performance course. The raw talent and energy of the participants moved and saddened me as many recounted real life stories of pain and hardship.

Here are a few selects from the shoot.

In an empty classroom in a government school in the township of Phillipi, hopeful youth meet with Inyanda Youth Project facilitators.

Participants come from a number of different townships surrounding and including Phillipi, all signing up for an opportunity to be selected for the four month intensive training course

For many a chance to take part in such a training program is a step towards reaching a dream, a step closer to escaping a life with little opportunity.

Some performers gather to discuss final details of a group performance before presenting to the judges

Inyanda facilitators give instruction on delivering real, convincing and emotive performances

Many of the performances by participants included stories and themes from real life experiences, here emotions were not acted but simply expressed, and felt by everyone watching.

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