Alice Mann: Drummies | Bildersturm

This is a long term project, by a South African photographer Alice Man, explores the major sport of drumming. The photographs depict the ambitious subculture that surrounds the all-female troupes of grand drums known as ‘the drums’.

publisherGOST 2021 Books

Headerphoto: Chloe Heidenreich, Big Titus, Ashnik Pauls, Elizabeth Jordan, Tammy Panteges and Shleo De Kock, Vermont Majors High School, Durbanville, Cape Town, 2018 © Alice Mann

Alice Mann - Drums - Iconoclasm Blog
Koru Thatchfield Primary School Majorette, Centurion, Tshwane, 2018 © Alice Mann
Alice Mann - Drums - Iconoclasm Blog
Wakiesha Titus and Riley Van Harte Avondale Primary School Majorettes, Atlantis, Cape Town, 2018 © Alice Mann
Alice Mann - Drums - Iconoclasm Blog
Fairmont High School Majorettes, Durbanville, Cape Town, 2018 © Alice Mann

The sport of major drumming has a long history in South Africa and became popular in the early 1980s, but participation in the sport has declined significantly since then. In contemporary culture, there is a strong sense of nostalgia associated with drumming. It is seen as the pursuit of a bygone era. However, in many marginalized communities across the country, it is still taken very seriously and is considered a very competitive sport. For the girls and young women participating, being a drummer is a privilege and an achievement, demonstrating success both on and off the field. The notoriously difficult training schedules are a representation of the girls’ commitment and ability to work hard.

While there have been various discussions about the age-old sense of discipline and ideals of femininity associated with sports, being part of a team gives girls a sense of belonging and strengthens their self-esteem. The importance of girls’ pride and trust is emphasized, which is vital in societies where opportunities for young women are often very limited. Being “drums” allows these girls to excel, and their distinctive uniforms serve as a visual indicator of success and liberation from their surroundings.

Publisher information

Alice Mann - Drums - Iconoclasm Blog
Cassidy Souls, Stacey Prinsloo and Livera Theron Avondale Primary School Majorat, Atlantis, Cape Town, 2018 © Alice Mann

spreads from the book drums © Alice Mann Courtesy of GOST Books

Alice Mann - Drums - Iconoclasm Blog
Dr. Van der Ross Primary School Majorat, Balhar, Cape Town, 2017 © Alice Mann
Alice Mann - Drums - Iconoclasm Blog
Clearcrown Primary School Majorettes, Florida Park, Johannesburg, 2018 © Alice Mann
Alice Mann - Drums - Iconoclasm Blog
Hillcrest Primary School Majorettes, Grabouw, Theewaterskloof, 2018 © Alice Mann
Alice Mann - Drums - Iconoclasm Blog

book specifications: drums by Alice Mann Posted bys GOST Books November 2021 | Article by Kristen Eyn | 240 x 290 mm | 128 pages with 63 color photos | ISBN 978-1-910401-66-8 | 45.00 GBP. Available here.

Exhibition: Drummies Alice Mann in Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands (October 2, 2021-January 23, 2022) (Due to national Covid-19 restrictions, Kunsthal is closed, at least until January 14, 2022)

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Alice Man (born in 1991) (born in 1991) is a South African photographic artist whose intimate portraiture essays explore concepts of image-making as a collaborative work. It aims to create images that empower people with their subjects and create projects over long periods, allowing for an interactive and accurate representation.

Her award winning series drums Exploring major South African female drummers, selected to win the Lensculture Prize for Emerging Photography (2018), PHMuseum Women’s ‘New Generation’ Award for Emerging Photographer (2018). Four portraits from the series were awarded first place in the prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize (2018). Mann was also awarded the Grand Prix at the 34th Hyeres International Festival of Fashion and Photography (2019).

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