Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Visit to the ICP

Battle between AWB and police at FW meeting, Ventersdorp

The photo I picked was titled “Battle between AWB and police at FW meeting, Ventersdorp” by Graene Williams taken in South Africa. The picture was divided in two by the formation of two groups of people, the AWB and the police. All the people in the photograph are caucasian males. ¬†You can see from the photograph the distinction of the police wearing the traditional blue coats with blue shirts. Also, you can see the sergeant rank of one of the officer’s arms. You can see from the background that this FW meeting has taken place at night. Attached at the hips of the police officers there are gas masks while they’re holding guns in their hands. We can infer this means that they’re prepared to put down a riot using chemicals and even guns to subdue the ruckus.

The other half of the picture is of the AWB, an African political group. You can distinctly see a man screaming at the police. What makes him so distinctive is the red glove he’s wearing. It sticks out against the blue of the police officers and the darkness of the night sky. It seems to be pointing to the police as if to accuse them of their wrongdoings of apartheid. There’s also a club in between his legs which may mean he’s preparing the riot against the police. There are two other men standing behind the man with the red glove.

Most of the police have their eyes locked on the man with the red glove, while other officers are looking towards the crowd. The AWB have their eyes focused upon various police officers.

This picture shows the extreme split between the people of Africa during the time of apartheid. It shows that people are willing to result to violence to get what they believe is the “proper” way of life. The pictures captures the moment perfectly because we can literally see the immense tension rising between the two factions.


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