SERI: Protest has always been an important driver of social change in South Africa, before and since democracy. It has played a crucial role in securing and realising rights, and continues to be a frequent and powerful form of political expression. On 26 September 2023, Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) launched a new publication entitled, ‘Listen to Us! Reflections on Protest in Democratic South Africa‘. The publication is adapted from a protest exhibition entitled “Insurgent Citizens: Reflections on Protest in Democratic South Africa” put together by SERI and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in March 2019. The exhibition provided a compelling visual narrative that both examined the history and practice of protest, as well as challenged popular assumptions and myths associated with it.
This publication serves as an attempt to convert the exhibition into a more permanent and easily shareable format. The contents of the exhibition have been updated to include more recent protest movements and to reflect on the 10th anniversary of the Marikana massacre. Our hope is that the images contained herein serve as a source of reflection and inspiration. The struggle for justice, equality and dignity is far from over, and there is no doubt that people in South Africa and elsewhere will continue to take to the streets to fight for what they deserve.