On Saturday 25 May, ten Hermanus locals joined photographers from around the world in documenting humanity in real-time through the 24HourProject.

‘Who runs the world?’ by Simeon Rossouw (3:28pm)

The 24HourProject was started by Renzo Grande and Sam Smotherman in 2012.  Photographers share one photo every hour showcasing people in their community for 24 hours (midnight Friday to midnight Saturday). The idea came to them when they were busy with a personal project to document two cities for a full day. That same year they launched their first 24HourProject event with 65 photographers from 24 cities taking part. This year, that total was up to 4 850 photographers from 826 cities in 100 countries.

According to the United Nations, 70% of women worldwide have suffered from some sort of violence. The 24HourProject tries to bring these social issues to light. This year they partnered with selected non-profit organisations that work to empower women: Atena in Iran, GES Mujer in Mexico, Sacred Valley Health in Peru and She Has Hope in Uganda. They use the photos posted by the photographers around the world to raise awareness for their global crowdfunding campaign. As they are supporting these specific NGOs, the theme for this year’s 24HourProject was ‘women’.

The Hermanus team for the 24HourProject this year consisted of (back from left) Elam Mbakuse (TTOE), Kayleigh Erwee (KKS.Captures), Bethany Potgieter, Taylum Meyer (Titanium Photography), Clare Wise de Wet (Wise Photographics), Simeon Rossouw, (front) Ayanda de Klerk (TTOE – the youngest participant in the world), Mbasa Somana (TTOE), Onele Gambushe (TTOE) and Patricia de Klerk (TTOE).

This is the first year that Hermanus photographers have participated in the project. They were Clare Wise de Wet, Bethany Potgieter, Kayleigh Erwee, Simeon Rossouw, myself and five children from the Through Their Own Eyes (TTOE) Photography Club in Zwelihle – Ayanda, Elam, Mbasa, Onele and Patricia. The children from TTOE were also the youngest photographers in the world, the youngest being just nine years old.

Every hour the ten of us would go out and take photos, and then go back to our ‘base’ to edit and upload one photo to social media before the start of the next hour… and then we would go out and do it all over again for the next hour. It was a very challenging experience for all of us – staying awake for 24 hours straight is not easy – but we had so much fun together and met the most amazing women in Hermanus from all walks of life.

We would like to thank:

  • William and Trevor from the Zwelihle Youth Café for being our guides and for scouting out places we could go to photograph women. Without the two of you them wouldn’t have had any photos for the early morning hours.
  • Leeroy from the Zwelihle Youth Café who kept us going with midnight coffee and pizza. (Leeroy, William and Trevor stayed awake with us for the full 24 hours).
  • SPAR Gateway for the platters of delicious sandwiches and snacks on Saturday afternoon when we were all starting to get tired.
  • Nic Lotter for starting off with us in the early hours of the morning as our ‘bodyguard’ (we were all carrying a lot of camera equipment).
  • Clare Wise de Wet for introducing the 24HourProject to Hermanus and for organising everything.
  • The Youth Café and The Village NEWS for letting us use their offices as our two bases for editing and uploading.
  • And, of course, all the women in our community who allowed us to take their photos. It really would not have been possible without them.

The 24HourProject will still continue to fundraise for the NGOs over the next few weeks. If you would like to show your support visit bit.ly/24HrDonate. For more information visit their site www.24hourproject.org.

More photos taken by the Hermanus photographers during the 24HourProject can be found on Instagram: @bethany_potgieter; @kks.captures; @simeonrossouw; @through_their_own_eyes; @titaniumphotography; @wisephotographics.

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