Conté Magazine catches up with Michelle about her investigative portrait project #ThePeopleHaveSpoken. So they took a closer look at the role of art in the context of a revolution and also explore what sparked the start of the project.
#ThePeopleHaveSpoken is a series of portraits taken in South Africa at a time when division was being sown to distract from what was going on in the political landscape.
Firstly, South Africa had lost its reputable and revered Finance Minister overnight. And secondly, in the space of days, 2 more Finance Ministers were appointed and fired. Therefore, as a result, this development had a detrimental impact on the economy of the country. And lastly, investor sentiment plummeted overnight to an all-time low.
The participants in this project were made up of South Africans from all walks of life. Firstly they were asked to formulate their most pertinent thought and write it down on a small blackboard. (The blackboard incidentally is made up of all the colours of the South African flag.) Secondly, the participants experienced a small transformation through the process of clarifying their most pertinent thought to themselves. Lastly, they were asked to write down their clarified thought/sentiment on the blackboard.
In conclusion, the participants were asked to present the blackboard together with an expression of their emotion related to their sentiment. At this point Michelle captured their portrait.
Michelle embarked on the investigative project to learn about how different people were affected and how the people of South Africa were feeling. The interesting and hopeful outcome at the time was that there was more uniting the people of South Africa, than what there was dividing them.