Alice Mann launches photobook Kickstarter, celebrating young women in South Africa

This article contains image descriptions in the captions to help those with visual impairments.

The school has one sports court, which is used by all the sports teams. The drummies have to be supervised when using this court, there are active gangs present around the periphery of the schools property. ID:A group of young girls peforming with oine another on a blue basketball court outside. They are wearing colours or purple, green and pink.

Since 2017, South African photographer Alice Mann has been documenting the unique culture of all female drum majorettes. Also known as ‘Drummies’, these aspirational teams break boundaries and carve out a unique identity and culture for themselves. Mann’s reason for involving herself in this community was to help promote positive representations of young women in South African society through a nuanced and unapologetic portrait series. With hours of time and dedication needed, the girls are expected to perform in front of crowds to the highest standard.

Chloe Heydenrych, Paige Titus, Ashnique Paulse, Elizabeth Jordan and Chleo de Kock, on their practice session over a national public holiday. The team makes use of every available chance to practise, meaning there are no days off. ID: Six young girls in orange band hats and orange, white and black uniforms stare down at the camera. Blue skies in the background.
ID: Girls of multiple ages all stand in blue and white band outfits. Some have their arms folded, others with their hands on their hips.

The team structure provides a supportive  and safe space for them to excel. Something that resonates with Mann as she is more than aware of the limited opportunities that face women in South Africa. The sport reinforces attributes of empowerment for the women, something that became infectious for Mann and is found within the portraits as she documents them as both strong and stoic individuals but also the act of play and team spirit can be found.

Drummies is a much celebrated body of work, putting Mann on the map for many as not just an up and coming photographer but an artist with a clear style, approach and palette which defines her as one of the most exciting photographers of her generation. 

Now wanting to make something physical, Mann is launching a kickstarter campaign to realise Drummies as a photobook. Working with publisher GOST and accompanied with an essay by esteemed writer and curator Christine Eyene, the photobook aims to be a strong testament to the schools and young women she has collaborated with over the past 3 years.

Help support and back this project by clicking here.