[BR]OTHER is a visual record of the xenopphobic violence over the past twelve years. The foreword, written by former Constitutional Court Judge Justice Edwin Cameron, is accompanied by critical texts by Achille Mbembe, Joao Silva, Justice Malala, Koketso Moeti and others. In documenting these events, the book aims to raise awareness of the dangers that lie in hatred, intolerance and indifference. It is an urgent call to action. We must not ignore the warning signs.
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[BR]OTHER by James Oatway and Alon Skuy
A strongly truthful book. Oatway and Skuy have brought together this collection of photographs in a way that forces us to view the individuals as human. Unsettling and disturbing, it is unapologetic about the job of work it has been tasked to do. Xenophobia has to be considered, not just as another example of lawlessness, even though our leaders have responded by predominantly labelling xenophobia a crime. This is true. In an obvious sense. But also only partly true. The bigger, more horrendous truth is that it is crime-with-an-edge – anti-migrant crime, anti-African-migrant crime. As Edwin Cameron writes in his foreword, we are directed to view just whose stories are told – and whose are obscured; who is allowed to be visible – and who is erased? Photography entails more than record-keeping. It engages processes of world-making that organise how we understand our worlds, and ourselves, and how we engage with our communities. By engaging our attention on certain sites and away from others it frames what and who are worth seeing. In this way, the photographer helps produce a public knowledge about who should be made visible. South Africans know this acutely, for photographers, some of them heroic, some at cost to their own lives, made apartheid visible.
(The photographs within this book were taken during incidents of xenophobic violence. Many people have been killed during these incidents. Some images are graphic and disturbing. This book is not suitable for children.)