The Stories

ABOUT THE PROJECT:

Every year, the full-time Honours in journalism class at Wits University undertake an in-depth research project which allows them to put into practice their newly-acquired journalism skill under the supervision of a group of mentors. This year’s topic, the Johannesburg CBD, was chosen for its complexity despite its close proximity to the regular beat of the class. The class was divided into four groups and assigned a theme. The theme shaped the nature of the story pitched by each student journalist.

The students had a total of a month to complete this project, two weeks to find, research and write up a 2000-word feature in consultation with their group mentors, and another two weeks to compile the multimedia elements. They also uploaded all this content to this website.

PROJECT MENTORS: 

The groups were mentored by Kenichi Serino, Ruth Becker, Lizeka Mda and Gus Silber. The project was coordinated by Dinesh Balliah who also designed this site.

GROUP ASSIMILATION:

Join the writers as they interpret this theme to include everything from how to green the concrete jungle, finding reading spaces and safe spaces to worship. As they search for elusive English as a second language and adapt and reclaim traditional shweshwe fabric. In motion there is energy and assimilation is a constant motion.

GROUP DEGRADATION:

Arguably the word most associated with the Johannesburg inner city. Our writers find the flip side of degradation in the traditional sense of the word. Visit the Joburg Art Gallery and the chess players in Joubert Park. Meet the migrants trying to be legal and the peddlers selling beauty and happiness from a city pole. And meet the young skateboarders living inside one of the city’s most famously regimented space.

GROUP RESILIENCE:

Resilience is a rubber band that keeps bouncing back until it breaks. Or it’s a ball bouncing higher or lower or dribbling. it’s flexible and it keeps coming back. These are the resilient traders of the Joburg inner city as they find ways to sell their wares. These are waste pickers making a living from discards. They are hairdressers and traditional healers and some are gamblers looking for a lucky break.

GROUP REJUVENATION:

Rejuvenation speaks of life, water and energy. The energy of birth, the energy of taking on a role defying social stereotypes. The life-giving photography in Joubert Park, rejuvenating photographer and subject. And rejuvenating yourself by faking it until you make it. These are stories of birth and rebirth.