Dark Zambane (South African township slang for ‘Black Person’) is a photographic collective that was established in June 2016 with the aim of documenting and platforming the multiplicity of stories that Alexandra Township holds, while simultaneously conscientising the community through the Black Consciousness philosophy.
The collective is driven by the belief that the social issues that plague Alex can only be resolved by its residents; people with infinite potential to redesign the township. They strive to preach and practice African ideologies in an attempt to conscientise members of Alex to mobilise and take action, and are guided by the writings of Steve Biko, Kwame Nkrumah and Robert Sobukwe, amongst others. Although photography is their focus, Dark Zambane dabbles in research work, writing, community development work, events and seminars – which are all used as platforms to empower the community that they serve.
Through their photography the members of Dark Zambane have portrayed life in Alex as being vibrant; a township filled with entrepreneurs and bursting with potential. Through the exuberant entrepreneurial culture amongst residents – from street vendors to taxi drivers, tavern and spaza shop owners – it is clear that all is not lost.
In this portraiture series titled ‘Life in Alex’ Dark Zambane aims to showcase Alex, the home that has moulded them as well as other great South Africans, through their eyes. And as they put it, “The living conditions in Alexandra are poetic and this has encouraged us to capture the story of the township and its citizens in its original and unfiltered form.” View the photo series below and find more by Dark Zambane here.