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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.
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.