'Drummies' by Alice Mann
These images depict the unique and aspirational subculture surrounding all-female teams of drum majorettes in South Africa, affectionately known as “drummies”, based in some of the country’s most marginalised communities. For the girls and young women involved, being a “drummie” is a privilege and an achievement, indicative of success on and off the field. Being part of a team offers them a sense of belonging and increases their sense of self-worth, vital in communities where opportunities for young women are severely limited. A female-only sport, it’s a safe space where they are encouraged to excel; their distinctive uniforms are a visual marker of success and emancipation from their surroundings. This is part of my ongoing work exploring notions of femininity and empowerment in modern society and I hope these images communicate the pride and confidence these girls achieve through identifying as “drummies” in a context where they face many social challenges.