Skip to content
Unisa Press

amulets & dreams : war, youth & change in africa

edited by omar badsha
photographs by guy tillim
& omar badsha
foreword by amara essy
and text by julia maxted

The book is the second in South African History Online’s social documentary photography series, and focuses on a specific issue which is cause for concern in Africa: that of child soldiers who are victims of a nihilistic war.

It contains photographic essays on Sierra Leone 2001, Angola 2001/2002, Mozambique 2001, Eritrea 2000, and Burundi 2002. The book includes 124 duo-tone photos reproduced on high-quality paper, and in an attractive coffee-table format with hardcover and dustjacket.

"The highly original text in this book analyses the unacceptable involvement of Africa’s children in war. The photographs strikingly illustrate African societies in which all aspects of `normality’ in daily life are violated.

Together, while exposing the dangers facing these children, the text and photographs appear to ask what will take the place of `abnormality’ in these societies. Besides suggesting the rudiments of a possible solution, they make a powerful and provocative statement on the African condition today" - Abebe Zegeye

SAHO is a people’s history project committed to addressing the legacy of the Apartheid past and the bias of our educational and heritage institutions in the recording of the contribution of the history and cultural achievement of all South Africans.

This project had been made possible by the generous support of the Canadian International Development Agency, the government of Norway and the United Nations University, through the Institute for Security Studies.

The Institute for Security Studies is a regional strategic think-tank based in South Africa. Our mission is to conceptualise, inform and enhance the security debate in Africa wit a focus on human security. Interact is a research project at the ISS on children in armed conflict in Africa, funded by the government of Canada, Norway and the United Nations University.

South African History Online
P O Box 11420, Moroelana, 0161

Orders to Unisa Press
P O Box 392, Unisa, Pretoria, 0003
Tel: +27 (12)  429-3515

Item 6832, 2002, hardcover with dustjacket, 160 pp with 124 duotone photographs 
ISBN 1-86888-230-6
SA price R150 (VAT incl)
Other countries in Africa R166,60 (airmail incl)
Overseas US$21.80 or GB£14.00 (airmail incl)


Published by
South African History Online, UNISA PRESS and the
Institute for Security Studies

"When war ends the momentum of day-to-day acts of reconciliation must outrun, by far, the momentum of the worst moments of violent destruction.

This will not occur without harnessing the potential of youth, this time for peace and progress, and making them true stakeholders in the new society."- Amara Essy, Secretary General of the OAU.

Since the early 1920s, Omar Badsha has played a significant role as an artist and political, trade union and cultural activist. Badsha has been acclaimed for his contribution to the development of social documentary photography as an author, curator, editor and publisher. He has received a number of awards for his art and photographic work.

Amongst his published works are
Letter to Farzanah (1978), Imijondolo (1985) and South Africa - The Cordoned Heart (1986). Recently he published Imperial Ghetto (2001), a study of life in the Grey Street complex of Durban, and edited With Our Own Hands (2002), a focus on the government’s poverty relief programmes.

He is the founder and director of South African History Online, a major web site and publishing venture on South African history and culture.

Guy Tillim began working as a freelance photographer soon after leaving university, and in 1986 he joined Afrapix, the progressive photographers collective. He has worked for agencies Reuters and Agence France Presse and
had his work widely published internationally.

He received the Mondi Award
(South Africa) for photojournalism in 1998 for his essay of images Congo River: journey from Kisangani to Kinshasa, the 2002 SCAM (Societe Civile de Auteurs Multimedia) Roger Pic prize in Paris for his photographic portfolio on Kuito, Angola. He was also one of four finalists for ‘Prix Care International du Reportage Humanitaire’ and exhibited at
Visa Pour L’image (2001).

Julia Maxted has written extensively on human rights and poverty, and contributed essays to a number of books, including With Our Own Hands (2002). She teaches Geography at the University of Pretoria.