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Ilvy Njiokiktjien January 9, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.

Kommando Korps Camp, South Africa

Ilvy Njiokiktjien (b.1984, The Netherlands) studied journalism and photography in Utrecht. Ilvy graduated in 2006 and started working as a writer and photographer for the Dutch newspaper Sp!ts and for the Dutch Press Agenc ANP. In 2007 worked for The Star, a daily newspaper based in South Africa, Johannesburg. This is where the idea arose to travel from Johannesburg to Utrecht, by car. In 2008 she won the Canonprijs, part of the Zilveren Camera (Silver Camera). In that same year she also won the first prize in the National Geographic Photography Contest. In 2011 Njiokiktjien won the Canon AFJ Female Photojournalist Award. Her work on adolescents in South Africa will be presented at the Perpignan Photo Festival in 2012.

About the Photograph:

“These boys are part of a group known as the Kommando Korps, founded by a white fringe organisation in South Africa. The boys are at the camp for several reasons, one of them is to learn self defense. But the most important reason is to learn about their white race. Colonel Franz Jooste, the leader of the camp, teaches the kids about their white Afrikaner identity, the white struggle for a free country for whites within South Africa and other racist ideas. The children, all born after apartheid, are part of the so called born free generation. This generation was is supposed to bring unity and change in South Africa, but instead they are taught polarization and hatred towards blacks. I made this photograph while the boys were having a little break from their military style training. It was a moment when you could actually see that they are ‘normal’ boys, instead of young soldiers.”