As a South African Jewish redhead, Anthea Pokroy knows more than most people about prejudice. A cursory study of her ethnic and cultural heritage unveils a sickening plethora of marginalization, persecution and discrimination, all of which might lead one to become somewhat embittered under different circumstances. Anthea, however, is challenging at least one prejudice and by doing so hoping to raise awareness against ethnically or religiously based persecution as a whole.
With her project, “I Collect Gingers“, she is using her photography skills to highlight the beauty of red hair and hold up the redhead as a symbol of oppression. Anthea, a redhead herself, explains:
Classification and segregation, both in terms of exclusivity/elitism and ostracism/discrimination, due to skin colour, religion, or other superficial distinctions, (why not hair colour too?) are still notions that are very prominent in today’s society both in South Africa, Africa and abroad. This body of work hopes to clearly highlight this using the gingers as a symbol of both the oppressed and the oppressor.
Anthea’s ultimate aim is to exhibit “I Collect Gingers” as an art installation featuring not only her photos but also videos and performance pieces as well. The site is already brimming with a healthy number of ginger photos and she invites anybody with natural red hair to participate.