Report by Lerato Dumse & Zanele Muholi
Photos by Thobe Gumede
Where: Aurora Girls High School, SOWETO
What: 2014 PhotoXP – Guest speaking
Mpho Nefuri was our guest speaker of the day, she addressed the young female photographers on how Media and Law works. She explained to the learners the do’s and don’ts when approaching visual subject matters. The importance of taking precautions, avoiding risks and requesting for consent before photographing.
After handing in an urgent application at the Pretoria High Court on October 16, attorney Mpho Nefuri dashed to Aurora Girls High School in Soweto.
There, a group of 13 teenage girls who are part of the project waited for Mpho, the latest guest speaker to share knowledge with them.
She started on a light note, thanking and advising of the learners who responded to her greeting in Venda language, to teach her peers.
Adding, “The fact that we are in Soweto doesn’t mean you can’t speak Venda.”
She said that before apologizing for having kept the girls waiting and said, “I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to contribute in an initiative like this, hence I kept begging to say please wait and tell the learners to please wait I’m coming.”
The attorney then explained to the group that one reason for her visit is to share with them what it means to be a photographer in the legal sphere.
Mpho then asked the girls, what makes a photographer? To which Thando Methane responded by saying, “Photographers are people who document different struggles in life, because some people can’t express their views by speaking, but do so by taking photographs.”
Mpho told the photographers to respect the guidelines given on taking photos, be polite and make good judgment.
The learners were also advised to be innovative and authentic in their photography, and to copyright their photos in order to protect their work.
Some learners shared their reflections on Mpho’s visit.
Sindisiwe Ncube: I was glad to learn something new today. We were taught about how the law protects photographers, and the pictures we take.
Mpho also told us about the difference between public and private places. Since I started photographing, I’ve had experiences in some places were I was not allowed to shoot, and I never understood.
Today Mpho explained it clearly. I was surprised to hear that there is a subject called Media Law. As someone who loves media, knowing how the law works with it, is just priceless.
Nomthandazo Sibanyoni: I’ve learnt that photography has to do with public and private places. That in everything I do, I should be aware of people’s property and private life. I should not take private things into public places, because in that way, I will be violating that person’s right, and might end up in court.
Being a photographer means I should have knowledge about the industry. Having laws in this country is to protect a person’s rights because some companies don’t want their products pictured and their ideas stolen.
Mpho said we should learn being innovative and authoritative. Photographer’s are protected by media law.
Kamo Petlele: Today I enjoyed the meeting, learned I have to know our rights as photographers and the boundaries. I only thought because am a photographer I can shoot anything I want, thanks for the knowledge.
The young minds were thrilled and continued to pose so many questions afterwards of which Mpho responded to with humility. Due to time limit and lateness, the learners had to go home and Mpho promised to conduct a second session with the learners in the near future.
Previous guest speakers includes Phumla Masuku, Nonkululeko Britton-Masekela, Mfundi Mvundla, Gabi Ngcobo, Jamy-Lee Brophy, Megan Heilig, Martha Qumba, Ziyanda Majozi, and Busisiwe Radebe, who shared their expertise with the learners.
The learners attended various field trips in which they documented and learnt from those experiences.