Banned photos shown in SA

banned_photos_copyJOHANNESBURG - A picture is worth a thousand words - and the photographic exhibition entitled Reflections presents a fascinating pictorial journey into the tense atmosphere of Zimbabwes infamous 2008 elections. (Pictured: The banned photos on show in Johannesburg last week.)

The exhibition, re-printed and re-framed after having been confiscated by police in Zimbabwe, was presented by Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) and is intended to help the viewer ‘reflect’ upon the past and look towards a future in which reconciliation is possible.

ZimRights launched the Reflections photo exhibition as well as a filmed documentary titled Article VII-Voices for Healing for the first time in South Africa last week at the Red Card Media Centre, a temporary activist centre hosted on the East campus of Witwatersrand University.

Many people attended the launch to view the pictures, among them representatives from National Constitution Assembly (NCA) and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition regional office as well as individuals who have been forced into exile as a result of the political turbulence. In their solidarity speeches, the representatives of NCA and Crisis Coalition highlighted the need to continue telling the story of Zimbabweans. They reiterated that the struggle in Zimbabwe is not isolated, but affects the whole Southern African region.

The Reflections exhibition at Wits is now closed, but ZimRights plans to move the display to a venue at Conhill where it can be seen for the duration of Womens Month.

In Zimbabwe, ZimRights only managed to show Reflections in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare. The police intervened at each venue. The launch in Masvingo was a total failure after the police impounded the pictures. They have not yet returned them. In addition they arrested the ZimRights Regional Chairperson for Masvingo region, Joel Hita for organising the exhibition without police clearance.

Zimbabwes Attorney General Johannes Tomana sanctioned the prosecution – barely two weeks after ordering the prosecution of Owen Maseko, the visual artist who produced the controversial Matebeleland Gukurahundi exhibition which was banned. A date for the trial has not yet been set. – See more images:

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