Using the creative arts to comment on the outside and within

In an age of social media that is saturated with imagery, photographers need to put out images that stand out from the rest, says South African creative Saaleha Idrees Bamjee.

“The imagery you put out there [should] stands out from from the rest, [and] each image should have meaning and intent behind it,” Bamjee said.

Bamjee said this while presenting a case study at the frayintermedia and fraycollege of Communication “Claiming our stories, Raising our voices” global virtual summit.

Bamjee’s photography covers a range of themes, from lifestyle, events, food and weddings. The intent behind her photography is just as rich.

“The intent could be anything from just creating a really beautiful image that speaks to someone which will be a source of happiness for someone for the day or whether the aim of that image is to sell a product or to convince someone to try something new,” Bamjee said.

When not behind the lens, Bamjee pours herself into writing. Her debut poetry collection “Zikr” won the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Prize for English Poetry published by UHlanga Press. The publisher describes “Zikr” as “a collection of fine metaphors, concrete turns of phrase, and a refreshing specificity of image, place, and self.”

“Poetry for me has always been a way of figuring out the world around me or it's also been a way of me processing things that I grapple with or find it difficult to understand,” Bamjee said.

COVID-19 undeniably changed the course of life for many people. Bamjee turned to writing to process her feelings of anxiety in the difficult times.

“There's so much of anxiety and uncertainty and one of the ways that I find I’m able to cope with that sense of foreboding but at the same time trying to not be too depressed about things is that I turn to writing,” Bamjee said.

Writing is a way to release toxic thoughts and feelings, Bamjee said.

“You know people say such terrible things online and I sometimes feel that trolls online are just people who haven't had a chance to process themselves and the world they've been in,” Bamjee said.

Watch Bamjee’s full case study presentation here.

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