I AM HAPPY is the first publication from The Marcia Elizabeth Project, a duo consisting of a Photographer (Marcia Elizabeth) and Creative/Art director (Lethabo Ngakane) who encapsulate a more unified South African narrative through their work. Their art represents two different worlds unpacking societal issues through a single eye.
I am Happy is a story about rejection, loneliness, depression, isolation and alcohol abuse. It depicts a day in the life of a gay man, trapped in his home because society won’t accept him for who he is, leading him to drink alone and pretend that he is not sad. Happy is also an obvious play on the word Gay and “I am” affirms the pride and ownership of his sexual orientation. The shoot makes use of aged backgrounds, grungy textures and vintage furniture to emphasise the fact that the more he changes the more everything around him stays the same – dull, rigid and unaccepting. The shoot took place in the township of Daveyton located on the far east of Johannesburg, South Africa.