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'Platinum' Launches in Johannesburg and London

Event Date:

June 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM EDT
Image by Jason Larkin. South Africa, 2014.

In South Africa's poorest mining communities, fury at the political class is mounting.

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Multiple Authors
Media file: platinum1.jpg

August 16 marks the third anniversary of the Marikana massacre, a dark moment in South Africa's post-apartheid history when security forces shot and killed 34 striking mineworkers. Turmoil in the mines speaks to a far wider process of grassroots revolt for South Africa's contested future.

Pulitzer Center grantees Jack Shenker and Jason Larkin explored these stories of the struggle for social justice, and together produced Platinum, a booklet featuring eight of Larkin's images on double-sided fold out posters, paired with Shenker's essay about the build up to the Marikana tragedy and what might come to define the country in years to come.

Shenker and Larkin launch their multimedia booklet in Johannesburg on Saturday, June 27. In partnership with Fourthwall Books and Bench Marks Foundation, an NGO coalition responsible for monitoring major companies operating in southern Africa, particularly in the mining industry, the event coincides with the release of the government's official inquiry into the Marikana massacre.

Shenker and Larkin's original reporting for the Guardian was part of their Pulitzer Center-supported project, "Tremors Below: Mining and Protest in the New South Africa."

With this stand-alone booklet, Shenker and Larkin hope to share these stories with audiences who are often not reached by conventional media platforms. Platinum also has been translated into Xhosa and is being distributed in schools and libraries in the region.

The booklet's European release is set for London at the Frontline Club on Friday, July 17, during an event exploring the dynamics of politics, power and platinum in South Africa. Larkin and Shenker join a panel of experts on the topic including James Nichol, the criminal lawyer representing the families of those killed in the massacre; Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society; and Andrew Feinstein, writer and former ANC spokesperson.

Platinum Launch
Saturday, June 27
11:00 am
Fourthwall Books
Shop 5, Reserve Street
Johannesburg, South Africa

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