A Project by Mail & Guardian Tele­vi­sion, South Africa

In 1996 Mail & Guardian tele­vi­sion pro­duced a series of four films shot entire­ly by town­ship res­i­dents – ordi­nary people who had never used a video camera before, but who were trained and given a camera for a period of one week, in order to doc­u­ment their own sto­ries and their own lives. Pre­sent­ed in the form of visual diaries by eight dif­fer­ent people living their lives in the town­ship envi­ron­ment, the films give a voice on tele­vi­sion to people who have never seen them­selves on tele­vi­sion, or ever dreamed that they would have direct access to the medium before.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of the first series of Ghetto Diaries, Mail & Guardian tele­vi­sion is pro­duc­ing a second 6 part series in 1997. Called Ghetto Diaries – Across the Divide - the series uses the camera to bring togeth­er people who are nor­mal­ly divid­ed or sep­a­rat­ed. Each pro­gramme brings togeth­er two people to make their own films. They are linked in some way – a migrant worker and his wife at home, a black and white teenag­er in a small town. They were trained and given a camera for two weeks. They use it to cross a divide of time and space and dif­fer­ence…