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April, 2003
Seeing Africa through Jasmine's eyes
Jessica Waddell's photograph
Jasmine Waddell's photographs on exhibition at the Jericho Café.

Jasmine Waddell left the tourist traps of South Africa to capture photographic moments of everyday life.

Jenny Enarsson caught her exhibition at the Jericho Café.


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By Jenny Enarsson

When Jasmine Waddell came back from her first research trip to South Africa and had the photos developed, she was disappointed to see that they did not correspond with her own view of the country.

They were stereotypical tourist snapshots rather than windows to a place that she had come to care deeply about.

quoteThe black and white photos carefully portray both people and landscapes and manage to focus on people living in abject poverty without being exploitative or sensationalist. quote
Jenny Enarsson

Waddell is an American doctoral student in Oxford, working on a thesis on social welfare and citizenship in South Africa.

She knew that she would be returning to South Africa to gather more material, and started studying photography specifically for that second trip.

In the back of her mind was the thought that good photos might be useful to help raise support for ILITHA, an organisation that she has founded to help create educational opportunities for children in rural South Africa.

Jasmine’s motivation for starting to learn more about how to use a camera was a very practical one.

But something happened on the way and by the time she left for South Africa again, in January of this year, photography had become a passion in its own right.

Some of her photos from that trip are currently showing at the Jericho Café.

This time, they are far from classic tourist shots. The black and white photos carefully portray both people and landscapes and manage to focus on people living in abject poverty without being exploitative or sensationalist.

Instead, café visitors can rest their eyes on captured moments of everyday life – on images of joy and of seriousness.

Finally, others can see South Africa through Jasmine’s eyes.

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