“Supergrannies” Our Grandmothers on Film
It’s a sunny Tuesday in July and GAPA is meeting in the Lookout Hill Center in Khayelitsha. The celebration is in honor of the first presentation of a beautiful photo exhibit: “Supergrannies.”
There are about 100 people gathered together… Grandmothers, the GAPA staff, local friends and family, student volunteers from the United States… all brought together, celebrating the lives, struggles and strengths of the Grandmothers in this community and around the world.
Photojournalist Eric Miller, with much help from friends like (but not limited to…) Professor’s Jennifer Fish (Old Dominion University) and Bette Dickerson (American University), and MA student Savannah Eck (Old Dominion University) from abroad, has given expression to the hardships these Grandmothers have faced in their lives. Poverty, illness and disease, death and separation from loved ones… the steps that these ‘Grannies’ have taken in the walks of their lives have been defined by these struggles. But here at GAPA, the Grandmothers have taken the initiative to turn their lives’ circumstances into means for activism and community building. Thelma Nkone is one of the 17 Grandmothers featured in the exhibit: “I think that when they hear the stories they will be glad, because the stories encourage other people, I would like some Grannies outside to join GAPA. Most of the people are sick people, they must know about HIV- its not a stigma anymore. Grannies are looking after the young ones, sons, grandchildren that are sick. They need to know how to treat them.. Most of the people will come [to join GAPA support groups] when they see how GAPA does for us.”
The ‘Supergrannies’ Photo Exhibit, which is going to be on display in Cape Town’s wonderful District 6 Museum, is the culmination of the story sharing graciously given by the Grannies, the listening and compassion offered by the community, and the creative angle contributed by Eric Miller.