Cape Town - A photographic exhibition and magazine will showcase the drive, ambition and cohesion found within the Hanover Park community through local heroes.
Documentary photographer Eveline Gerritsen and storyteller and communications expert Melanie Wirz joined Hanover Park community workers Yaseen Johaar and Kashiefa Mohammed in June 2021, for the Hanover Park “Vir Ewig” project.
Gerritsen and Wirz were invited to Mohammed’s home where they spoke to women who lost their sons in gang shootings and spoke to first and third generation gangsters.
“So we started brainstorming and two weeks later we came back to Yaseen, telling him that we wanted to collect stories of role models from the community and create a magazine for the children in the schools of Hanover Park to inspire them to take their lives into a positive direction,” said Gerritsen.
The exhibition will take place at 44 Lower Main Road, Observatory, from 5pm to 9pm on Thursday.
Visitors will also be able to purchase the magazine, and with every purchase, one magazine goes to a child from the community. Another exhibition is expected to take place in Hanover Park this month.
Portrait images of 14 role models will be on display with portions of interviews conducted.
Wirz said it was important to show people that Hanover Park was different from what was commonly associated with it.
“We want to show that people like you and me live in Hanover Park. And that they can be successful, even if they grow up in an area where there are not many opportunities for a better life,” Wirz said.
“For example, we had spoken to a man who was one of the first generation of teenagers in Hanover Park. He ended up on the Cape Flats with his family when they were pushed out of District Six. He told us that about 40 years ago there was nothing in the area. No infrastructure, no public transport, no library, no sports clubs.”
Johaar said 5 000 copies of the magazine will go to schools in Hanover Park.
“...to inspire learners. Letting them see how people from Hanover Park achieve in various careers, meaning that nothing stops them from doing the same despite adversities.”