South Africa

16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM (PHOTO ESSAY)

‘The only thing you beat is a drum’

‘The only thing you beat is a drum’
The Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement, which includes 16 shelters in the province, hosted its 5th annual “the only thing you beat is a drum” event as part of the national 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign in Cape Town on 27 November 2019. (Photo: Aisha Abdool Karim)

For two hours this week the sound of drums echoed around Adderley Street as part of a demonstration held by the Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement. Part of the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children, the group of 16 shelters held their 5th annual drumming event.

As part of the 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, the Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement held its 5th annual event: “The only thing you beat is a drum”. (Photo: Aisha Abdool Karim)

A group of around 50 women from various shelters around the
Western Cape gathered at the corner of Wale Street and Adderley
Street at lunchtime on Wednesday for a demonstration against gender-based violence.

The Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement organises the annual
event, “The only thing you beat is a drum”.

Vusumuzi Dyantyi is the co-founder of Vula Youth Development, which uses performing arts to engage with young people in disadvantaged communities around social issues.  (Photo: Aisha Abdool Karim)

Women from the 16 shelters in the movement are provided with an array of
instruments and led by Vusumuzi Dyantyi, co-founder of Vula Youth
Development, which uses performing arts to engage people on social
issues.

“Survivors of gender-based violence are often silenced by their abuse and isolated by their abuse. Their voices are not heard. This event is about unsilencing those voices and creating a safe space where they can come out, beat their drums and be heard,” said Bernadine Bachar, chairperson of the Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement. (Photo: Aisha Abdool Karim)

The idea originated as a way to bring awareness to gender-based
violence and the silence that surrounds the issue. The location
was chosen for its easy accessibility and the ability to engage with
the public.

Taya, who is 3 years old, ran from her seat to the middle of the drum circle to dance to the music. Her mother, Belitha, who did not wish to disclose her surname, said: “I am here to support all the women who have been abused and to stand up to men who abuse, I hope that some men will learn through this.” (Photo: Aisha Abdool Karim)

“Survivors of gender-based violence are often silenced by their abuse
and isolated by their abuse,” said Bernadine Bachar, chairperson of the
Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement. “Their voices are not heard. This event is about unsilencing those voices.”

“A Polished Male” is a campaign started by the Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement in 2018, where men are encouraged to paint one fingernail to show their support for the fight against gender-based violence. “Where I’m from, in Lavender Hill, I see this [violence against women] every day,” said Al’bin Samuels. (Photo: Aisha Abdool Karim)

Ntombi Qamba is a member of Sisters Incorporated, a shelter for abused women and children. She is seen here with  Vula Youth founder Vusumzi Dyantyi. (Photo: Aisha Abdool Karim). DM

 

 

 

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