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"I am the opposition" tells the story of how the Xenophobic riots in in South Africa 2008 inspired CPUT student Thoko Miya to study journalism. It is an introspection on her thoughts, how one action can spark a movement. I am the opposition is her response to the question what lead to deciding to become a journalist.

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  1. 1. I am the opposition.
  2. 2. Man in flames after being doused in petroleum by xenophobic rioters. Police on scene to help. Image courtesy of Boston.com
  3. 3. South African Police arrive at scene to aid a Mozambican man Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave who was set on fire in Reiger Park during xenophobic clashes May 18, 2008. Nhamuave, a 35-year-old father of three, later died of his injuries, his body returned to Mozambique to be buried: Image courtesy of Boston.org
  4. 4. A crowd, armed with clubs, machetes and axes goes on a rampage on May 20, 2008 during violent xenophobic clashes at Reiger park informal settlement on the outskirt of Johannesburg. Image courtesy of Boston.com
  5. 5. A group of teenage mobsters gathers to watch the burning remains of a neighbouring immigrant burn to ash. Image courtesy of
  6. 6. Displaced migrant workers gather their belongings in the aftermath of the Xenophobic crisis of 2008. Image courtesy of U
  7. 7. The displaced remains of migrants in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks on May 18 2008 in the Reiters Township Just outside Johannesburg. Image courtesy of Irinnews.org
  8. 8. Residents of Alexandra township with machetes, pangas and spades. The violent nature of the revolting residents is clear. Image courtesy of Themba Hadabe/AP
  9. 9. Young girl runs away from the scene of a burning shack. Targeted specifically because the owner was an immigrant from outside the country the house is seen as s symbol of how immigrants were entitled to things which South Africans did not have access tom like land and resources to build their own homes. Image courtesy of Bosrton.org
  10. 10. A young girl looks through the fence at one of the relief camps which was set up as an intervention from UNHCR. Photo courtesy of UNHCR
  11. 11. The image of Diepsloot Township in Soweto during the hight of the xenophobic attacks in 2008. This powerful image show the intersectionality between the deconstruction of townships and the xenophobic attacks. Image courtesy of The apricity.com
  12. 12. Residents of Diepsloot who managed to get away from the conflict were housed in make shift camps just outside of Johannesburg. Image courtesy of UNCHR
  13. 13. Mob violence was exemplified during the xenophobic riots of 2008 in townships in South Africa. Image courtesy of Themba
  14. 14. Protesters show solidarity with survivors of the xenophobic attacks. Image courtesy off Ella Phinda Scheepers
  15. 15. Rioters in Cape Town meet to show that they are serious about their demands of foreigners being moved from the township. Image courtesy of Boston.com
  16. 16. The shack of an African migrant worker in the mines burns down in Diepsloot Township Johannesburg. Image courtesy of Joao Silver
  17. 17. Signs that went up in Alexandria Location shortly after the Xenophobic attacks began. Image courtesy of Mike Falick Blogs
  18. 18. Self portrait taken on New years day 2015. Young visionary, bold, curious, ready to take on the new year. “Cheers to the new year”
  19. 19. Determined to break the microcosm of political, societal and economic normatives by looking into various identity groups and how they intersect.
  20. 20. Thoko Miya ages 12 pictured along with her sister Thato and mother Baratang. Shortly before she began theorising about a freedom movement which would represent the disenfranchised.
  21. 21. A young revolutionary, Thoko Miya was inspired by the writings of Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Graca Macel, Mamphele Ramphele and other South African writers.
  22. 22. A thinker, a writer,a coder, poet, rapper, student of philosophy my writing is inspired by the world with the intention to change the world.
  23. 23. I am the opposition.
  24. 24. With Thanks To: ● Khadija Patel: Daily Maverick ● South African Human Rights Commission ● Blaque Photography ● Boston.org ● Unchr.org ● Themba Hadebe/ AP