The roar of fury that broke the silence

 
 
 

“Crying out is a major tool of healing the inside soul.”

Lindeka Qampi is making herself heard with a roar of fury. A crisis exists in South Africa. Society protects perpetrators and blames victims of sexual violence. Qampi spent years hiding her story, until it became a weight she could no longer carry. A survivor, she is sick of the shame. Turning her camera on herself, this artist is refusing to stay silent. “I’m using photography as a way of healing,” Qampi says. “To give voice to the voiceless.”

Qampi developed her skills and techniques through the Iliso Labantu Photography Collective. Since 2006, she’s been capturing social issues affecting people’s daily lives. But after nearly a decade of focusing on others, Qampi needed to confront the scourge of violence and tell her story. “Rape is happening every day,” she says. And when it does, people hide it due to the prevalence of victim-blaming and retraumatisation. Qampi turned to art and poetry to express her experience and unveil her pain. In her multimedia series, Inside My Heart, her photographs portray her covered in blankets or emerging from the ocean. Her voice speaks over the images in a video as she unleashes her poetry. It’s explosive, courageous. You can’t turn away.

Through the creative process, Qampi has taken back her power. And with it, she’s helping other survivors shed the burden of blame. Dismantling the myths that perpetuate abuse, her work is unfettered, urgent, and necessary. In a time when conversations are ripe but actions are few, Qampi’s voice is a force to reckoned with. “I want people to fight for freedom for all,” she says. “We can break the silence.

View Qampi’s video in full here.