An African refugee asks his (South) African attackers “My brothers, why are you doing this to me?” Their response… “Voetsek! Us, brothers?”
In 2008 and 2015 xenophobic violence broke out across South Africa (SA). Thousands were displaced. Over 70 African refugees and migrants were murdered and 200 have lost their lives in the interim. The perpetrators were ordinary South Africans. Voetsek! Us, brothers? will use the xenophobic outbreaks to tell a complex story through the eyes and lives of “victims” and “perpetrators”. Using both professional and participant footage we follow the lives of a South African and three migrants to unearth the roots of the conflict that can so quickly spill into violence.
Ultimately, however, both sides seem trapped in the cycle – migrants fleeing war and hunger seek sanctuary in SA, where, 23 years into democracy and with an increasingly despotic and greedy government, rising inequality, unemployment and social injustice, citizens are disillusioned and angry – feeling outplayed by non-citizens in the intense competition for survival and dignity. There’s little space