We’re only three days away from the end of the month which means the first half of 2017 is done and dusted! Well nearly. Also, the end of June means the end of Youth Month.
The youth of 1976 endured a lot to say the least. Youth Day did not come about to be a passing trend. It came about to commemorate the incredible power of youngsters who would not allow any person, government or system to make them feel less than.
I did a little thinking, between my study breaks, about this month and the immense power behind the story of June 16. And one question that is raised constantly in a lot of people’s minds is: Do the youth of today still have a fiery, fighting spirit against injustice?
Is there more to our generation than filters on Snapchat and Rap that is incomprehensible? Is there more to us than posting pictures of R5 000 shoes that we bought but can barely afford? Is there more to us than the fake personas we put on for people that don’t care about us anyway? Is there more to us?
Well I think so. I mean, of course there are many, many people in our generation who simply don’t care about anything except selfies and followers. Albeit the rest of us care about our rights. We want to see the final demolition of discrimination. We want equal access to education. We want representation in the media. We want to protect our cultures from capitalists. We want equal opportunities in the work world. And the ‘rest of us’ actually fight for it.
Fees Must Fall. Data Must Fall. Black Lives Matter. Anti-Islamophobia. Pride marches. 16 Days of Activism. Just a few movements that should ring a bell to you. Our liberalist generation fights against discrimination of all forms using a formidable form of communication – social media. Social media allows awareness of so many issues to be heard and spread. Minorities are finally given a voice and photographic evidence of injustice can be shared by a tap on your screen.
We may not always consciously think about our fearless predecessors of 1976 but when we do, it’s evident that their diligent attitude towards fighting for their beliefs trickled down into the views of the South African youth today.
PHOTOGRAPHER: VIDAL THAVER