The other day I went to Anthea Pokroy’s photographic exhibition called I collect gingers at The Circa Gallery. It’s an interesting show made up of 500 photographs, but after I stared at each ginger-haired participant in the face I started to feel quite watched, it was bizarre.
– Pokroy explains, “It was only after my first photography session with seven ‘gingers’ that I began exploring the innate sense of community and collective experience that emerged from the otherness of the ‘gingers’ ”. Through her photographs Pokroy begins to construct a narrative, history/future and system of classification around this self-identified ‘race’. Pokroy uses this minority (2% of the world population) and mythical (historically considered witches and demons) group of red-headed people to highlight the obscurities of racial classification and discrimination which remain prevalent in South Africa. In a context that has historically been obsessed and oppressed by skin colour, Pokroy suggests an ironic alternative to genetic and pigment-based racial profiling. She begins to imagine what a ginger utopia might look like and what its implications would be.