How 2 Polaroid employees pushed the beloved camera company to stand up for Black South Africans during apartheid
Added 08-12-20 03:14:03am EST - “Polaroid's tech was used for a sinister purpose in South Africa as an integral component of a tool used by white authorities against Black citizens.” - Businessinsider.com
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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Businessinsider.com: “How 2 Polaroid employees pushed the beloved camera company to stand up for Black South Africans during apartheid”. Below is an excerpt from the article.
The year was 1970, the government was South Africa, the policy was apartheid, and the technology was Polaroid.
In addition to making a line of hugely popular instant cameras, Polaroid also developed and marketed a system called ID-2, which organizations used to create photo-identification documents.
Polaroid employees Caroline Hunter and Ken Williams dug into their company's presence in South Africa and learned that the government was using ID-2 to make documents known as "passbooks" that were widely understood to be a tool for enforcing white supremacy.
"Under South African law, Blacks had to carry a document called their passbook, similar-sized to our passport," Hunter told Business Insider's Charlie Herman in the latest episode of "Brought To You By…"
"You must have it on your physical person at all times," she explained. "It is the permission for [people] to move, to exist, and is considered the handcuffs of Black people."
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