About The Number Project

The Number project encompasses a film, prints, artworks and a book.

All of these mediums engage with the myths and markings of South Africa's prison Number gangs. 


​At its heart is the film 'The Number'  which immerses its audience in the world of the Number gangs.

(Directed by Manuela Gray, Cinematography by Brendan McGinty)

​It traces and unravels their history, personal journeys, codes and marks… 

dramatically exploding the world of The Number through voices and imagery.

​The film engages with the seeming simplicity and brutality of the marks, 

exploring the secret and powerful code which is spelled out and spoken

across the bodies of the inmates. 

The film has been accepted at a number of Film Festivals and recently won

the Bristol Rebel Festival Best Documentary of 2019


Film Festivals and Exhibitions

​A series of potent photographic images were produced from the film project, 

and then after this a body of artworks were created from these. 

​In the artworks, Manuela radically reworks the photographic images with needle and silver thread...   

disrupting the physical surface of the prints, while engaging and interrogating  

the iconography of The Number.

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