Photo-book records students’ struggles

LIVES IN LENS: NMMU’s official photographer Leonette Bower, who graduated with a BTech in photography yesterday Picture: Supplied
LIVES IN LENS: NMMU’s official photographer Leonette Bower, who graduated with a BTech in photography yesterday
Picture: Supplied

Stories help photographer earn degree cum laude

Capturing the often heartbreaking stories of students caught up in the #FeesMustFall protests helped a photographer to earn her BTech degree cum laude.

NMMU’s official photographer, Leonette Bower, 37, captured the volatile and sometimes violent protest action on the university’s Port Elizabeth campuses from late 2015.

Later transforming her pictures into a photographic documentary booklet, Bower was able to tell the compelling stories of five NMMU students struggling to complete their university studies, through the lens of her trusty camera.

She used the project as a basis for her BTech degree in photography which was conferred in absentia yesterday.

After chatting to stakeholders including academics, financial aid managers and student governance staff, to name a few, Bower used almost the whole of last year to complete her project, which has been printed in booklet form and titled #Storyofmylife.

“I wanted to capture more students’ stories, but time and access to students during the #FeesMustFall period was limited,” Bower said.

“But there is so much richness in the stories that I realised we have to extend them to more students.

“We are therefore planning to include more students in the project, which will lead to an exhibition later this year.”

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