A woman with an extraordinary job…

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This is a photo montage of the images I took while I was working on my in-depth project focussed on gender justice. The main character is Martha Kekana who is an independent correctional centre visitor at Johannesburg Correctional Centre. She works in a difficult male dominated environment but has enough motivation to keep doing her job and being an active and involved mother to her three children and wife to her husband at home.

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The more things change the more they stay the same…

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Many of South Africa’s prisons are struggling with maintaining decent living conditions for the inmates they incarcerate. Many of these conditions are synonymous with those that occured during apartheid. The photos I took are at the Old Fort Prison complex which is now Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg.

Know your toilet signs?

Walking around campus (Wits University), I’ve noticed how different some of the toilet signs are.

What caught my eye the most was the difference in female toilet signs where some wore longer “dresses” than others and some had hair while others didn’t. For instance, a toilet in Central Block had a female figure that “wore” a short flared dress but was bald. At the Matrix, the figure I noticed wore a longer dress.

The male toilet signs were fascinating in that some had their legs spread apart and others not. One unique male sign was of a figure with what looks like “hair”.

Two of my favourite signs have to be those at the postgraduate pub (PIG) on east campus which are sculptures labelled sows (for ladies) and boars (for males).

In defense of the PIG, at least their signs were labelled. The only problem would be whether or not one knows what  sows and boars are.

Another interesting sight were the signs at the Wits museum in University corner. They fascinated me because the drawings on pieces of paper were of box-like figures. The female toilet sign has one breast protruding from its body. This sign was different to the male sign which has what looks like a penis coming out of its body.

I wondered if people ever got confused by the drawings since there was no label. In my experience, when a person needs to relieve themselves urgently, there is nothing more frustrating than figuring out which toilet they’re allowed to use.

Photo essay by: Luyanda Majija

A sign showing the direction to go for the ladies toilets at the Oppenheimer Life Sciences building; with the
light reflecting off of the sign, it looks almost inviting.
 
 
 
This sign, found at the Matrix indicates the direction one should go for both male and female toilets.
 
 
 
A replica of the previous sign made to show the ladies and people with disabilities where they’re toilets are
in Central Block.
 
 
 
This sign also includes a figure showing that toilets for the disabled are in the same area as the male’s. The
male figure’s legs are spread apart quite a bit.
 
 
 
This male figure at the Matrix has his arms and legs close to his body and has broad shoulder.The female sign at the same toilets also has “her” limbs close together and broad shoulders.
 
 
 
This female figure in Central Block is wearing a short flared skirt and has her arms behind her back.
 
 
 
These signs were placed on a toilet door (outside University Corner) next to one another which makes one wonder if the toilet is unisex. The female’s dress is longer than the other figures.
 
 
The male figure engraved “boars” at the PIG.
 
 
 The female figure at the PIG (engraved ‘sows’).
 
The male toilet figure at the Wits Museum male toilets with what looks like a penis drawn on the body.
The drawing on the female toilet door at the Wits Museum which shows what looks like a breast protruding from her body.

 

This female figure also found at the Wits Museum doesn’t have arms on her body.

 

 
Another male figure at the Matrix that looks like it has “hair”.
 
 
 
Toilet sign of female figure that looks like she has hair and her neck isn’t separated from her neck. She looks like she has one leg, she has a figure and her arms are not too close to her body.