On 16August, 2012, 34 striking mineworkers in Marikana, South Africa, were killed, and 78 injured, in what was the deadliest use of violence by the South African security forces against its own civilians since the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, and the demise of the heinous system of apartheid in 1994. In total, 44 men lost their lives throughout the strike. The reason for the so called ‘Wildcat’ strike, is that the miners were fighting for a ‘living’ wage, the amount a meagre R12,500.00. per month (approximately USD 750).
Mining’s migrant labor system and its legacy continues to be pervasive with many men supporting their families back home.
The Marikana Massacre, a ‘watershed’ moment in the country’s young democracy, has had deep and long- lasting reverberations in South African society. The devastating effects of inter-generational trauma persist a decade on, with traumatized family members and the community still living under the weight of the tragic event.
”Alon Skuy’s unflinching photographs document the moments leading up to, during, and after, the massacre at “scene one”. They go on to document the grief that accompanies death before sensitively exploring the socio-economic conditions that still wrack mining towns like Marikana because government will not hold mining companies to account for their deficient record on transformation. Skuy demands that we look at not just Marikana and the massacre it has become synonymous with, but how these are connected to our own lives — and what kind of country, and world, we would like to live in. To answer those questions, this book behoves us to imagine something beyond individual interest. It asks us to relocate our humanity among pages that reflect violence, trauma, grief, inequality and injustice — and to rekindle our solidarity with each other.”
Johannesburg. June 16,2022