South African artist and photographer Alice Mann is preparing a book on her long-term photographic project documenting the unique subculture surrounding all-female teams of drum majorettes in South Africa, known as ‘Drummies’, and the way the sport visibly empowers the young women involved.
In a society where women face many challenges, it is vital to contribute towards visual documentation that aims to confront representational stereotypes and encourages nuanced interpretation. Alice Mann’s images are a testament to the commitment and determination of these young athletes and communicate the pride and confidence they have achieved through identifying as ‘Drummies’.
The series, begun in 2017, has been selected as a winner of the Lensculture Emerging Talent Award (2018), and the PHMuseum Women’s New Generation Prize for an emerging photographer (2018). Four images were awarded first place in the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (2018). International shows include Red Hook Labs and Addis FotoFest. The series will also be exhibited at the Kunsthal, Rotterdam, late 2021. The work has received positive coverage in media publications, including The Guardian, The New Yorker Photo Booth, and National Geographic.
Designed by Stu Smith, the book will be published by GOST Books. Accompanying the images will be an essay by art historian and curator Christine Eyene, whose areas of research and curatorial practice encompass contemporary African and Diaspora arts, feminism and photography.
Copies are available to pre-order on Kickstarter, along with some special edition books and limited prints.
Find out more here.
Image: Alice Mann, Hilce Rhode, from the Drummies series.