Grand prix du jury photographie 2019
Drummies explores the unique and aspirational subculture surrounding all-female teams of drum majorettes in South Africa, and how the sport empowers the young women involved.
For them, being a “Drummie” is a privilege and an achievement, indicative of success on and off the field. While there have been various debates around the archaic sense of discipline and idealised notions of femininity associated with the sport, being part of a team offers girls a sense of belonging and emboldens their self-worth. The significance of pride and confidence is stressed to the girls, which is vital in communities where opportunities for young women are often severely limited. Being “Drummies” allows these girls to excel, and their distinctive uniforms serve as a visual marker of success and emancipation from their surroundings. “With my continued investigation into this subculture, I hope that these images can communicate the pride
and confidence these girls have achieved through identifying as ‘Drummies,’ in a context where they face many social challenges. I want these images to function as a testament to the commitment and determination of these young female athletes, in a world where so many sporting opportunities are still focused on men.”
Born in 1991 in South Africa, Alice Mann is based between London and South Africa. Her practice focuses on themes around identity, femininity and empowerment, aiming to challenge pre-existing stereotypes. Her personal and commissioned work has been published internationally in media such
as New Yorker, British Vogue and The Guardian. Her acclaimed series Drummies, received first prize
for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Portraiture Prize (2018), the Lensculture Emerging photographer prize (2018), and the Grand Prix at the 34th edition of the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography (2019).