South African activist and Banyana Banyana soccer player, Eudy Simelane was murdered on April 28th 2008. Thinking about how to honour her memory, the Equality Project decided to start by cleaning the field where she was found. On April 4th 40 people turned up with shovels, plastic bags and brooms and spent the day cleaning the field. The initiative is part of a desire to reclaim public spaces and take ownership as a way of making the community a safe place for everyone especially women. Part of the project included building a bridge which will not only act as a physical crossing but a way to bring together members of the community around the open field.
Phumi Mtetwa of the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project explains….
This initiative is part of others that aim at re-building and maintaining clean community spaces that are open to all to enjoy and use for leisure and transiting. For lesbian and gay activists this space bears additional symbols: a fellow struggler was killed there for transgressing pre-assigned societal gender roles and for living openly as a non-heterosexual.
The wooden cross, put where her body lay on the morning of 28 April 2008, is a further symbol to remember Simelane and the many others who died in similar circumstances and motives across South Africa. It is a reminder of the struggles faced by those who survived death and who continue to live in fear for their lives.
All photos by Laurie Adams from her Facebook