Many young Africans are struggling with racism and hostility while living in a city like Melbourne. ‘Illusions of Me' is a personal project I am currently working on that aims to break the false images and impressions certain politicians and news agencies may instil to the public through their words and articles. Africans and Muslims are often portrayed as violent, dangerous and responsible for the city’s crimes, encouraging the public to be fearful of them, especially the presence of African ‘gangs’. .
In this image is Haney, a 17 year old who came to Australia with his family from Sudan almost 10 years ago. I spoke to him at the anti-racism protest held in Melbourne last Saturday on November 10, the day after the Bourke Street tragedy where a Somalian man set a car on fire and stabbed 3 people with a knife. “The media is quick to label an African man a terrorist,” he said, “when a white man commits a crime like this, like the one in California, when a veteran shot and killed 12 people at the Borderline Bar, they didn’t call him a terrorist. They labelled him as someone who is suffering from a mental illness and needed help. It’s very unfair. This Keffiyeh I am wearing today, it is in support of all my Muslim brothers and sisters suffering injustice.” .
I asked him what his ambitions were for the future –“I want to go university and study law so I could work in social injustice. Equality in the world is very important to me. In my family, I am the only boy with 3 sisters, I have to stand up for them.” Young and optimistic, Haney is baffled at how much discrimination and hatred someone can show just based on their skin colour. “There must be other underlying reasons”, he remarked. -
#documentary #documentaryphotography #melbourne #photojournalism #guardianaus #lensculturediscovery @theagephoto @guardianaustralia @gettyimages @gettyreportage @sbs_australia @apnews @panospictures @time @thenewdaily @nytimes @dw_stories @lensculture @heraldsunphoto