Profile Interview | Gregory "Greg" Marinovich

Gregory "Greg" Marinovich was born in South Africa in 1962. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and is co-author of The Bang Bang Club, a nonfiction book on South Africa's transition to democracy. He spent 25 years of his life doing news and documentary photography around the globe.

Marinovich won the Alan Paton Award for The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre. In the days after the massacre, Marinovich arrived in Marikana before first light. His Daily Maverick colleague Mandy de Waal had written about University of Johannesburg academic, Peter Alexander and his team’s research suggesting that there was another killing site apart from the shootings caught on camera.

It was one of the most shocking things that has happened in our recent history.

Gregory Marinovich, Photojournalist, Filmmaker, Photo Editor and Member of the Bang-Bang Club

“I’ve seen enough of these massacres, these murder scenes,” said the Pulitzer-winning photojournalist, renowned for covering the violence during the transition towards democracy and later working in conflict zones around the world.

At what was later called the “small koppie” or “scene two”, he saw police markings identifying fatalities, blood and bullet marks. It dawned on everyone there that there was more to the story.

Murder at Small Koppie: The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre is about conflicting narratives. There’s Marikana where the police hid details of the killings to support their claim that officers acted in self-defence. Then there’s South Africa, where inequality and violence thrives, in contrary to the hope embedded in ideas of the miracle nation and Nelson Mandela’s rainbow-ism. Marinovich’s book exposes these contradictions.

Marikana was not the first betrayal of the ANC voter by the ANC, but it was what really brought into sharp focus.

Gregory Marinovich, Photojournalist, Filmmaker, Photo Editor and Member of the Bang-Bang Club

Marinovich highlights that if the state can get away with murdering 34 people in a day and publicly lie about it, then it’s no surprise leaders haven’t taken accountability for the exposures of the Gupta email leaks.

I think Marikana is so significant for us. It’s such a point of no return. The bar was lifted on what they can get away with publicly.

Gregory Marinovich, Photojournalist, Filmmaker, Photo Editor and Member of the Bang-Bang Club.

Marinovich is now based in the United States after receiving a Neiman Fellowship at Harvard. He also received a Taco Kuiper grant to assist his writing on Marikana. He currently leads a photojournalism unit at Boston University and is working on his next book. He’s doubtful Marikana’s victims will ever achieve the justice they seek, but he hopes his work might help to at least expose their truths.

Greg Marinovich: Murder At Small Koppie, The Real Story of the Marikana Massacre

To hear the full interview, click on the audio below...


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