Lallitha Jawahirilal

Lallitha Jawahirilal (b. 1955, Ladysmith) is a South African visual artist, who enrolled at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London in 1984 and graduated with a BA Degree in in 1987. She continued to study at the Royal College of Art London where she graduated with an MA degree in 1989. She collaborated with South African exile writers, musicians, sculptors, painters and photographers in the UK and engaged in fundraising efforts for to support the anti-apartheid movement, and participated in group exhibitions, including the ‘Artists Against Apartheid’ exhibition in the Upper Street Gallery. She held solo exhibitions at the Africa Centre in Stockholm, Gallery 21 in Johannesburg and the Galerie Trapez in Berlin. In 1990, she was awarded a residency by the Delfina Studios Trust in London and won the Discerning Eye Award in 1991, and the Pollack Krasner Award in 1992.

Her work deals with space as a deeply embedded construct in one’s psyche during exile. Jawahirilal fled apartheid South Africa in the 1980s and went into self-imposed exile in London where she then took up her art studies, continuously engaged her contradictory feelings to her home country (and especially her home town of Ladysmith) which wavers between deep loving emotion, on-going conflict and in some senses, a feeling of spiritual entanglement with her place of birth. Using her own poetry, mixed media (painting and collage), Jawahirilal’s Oh South Africa(1980, 2011) series reflects her longing for her home during her time away in London, but also since 2004 when she took up permanent residence in India. 

Career
Fine Art Lecturer at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa (1994-2000) Master Degree in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London (1989)
Bachelor of Arts, First Class Honours at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London (1987)

Selected Awards 

1994 Elizabeth Foundation Award, United States of America  [view pdf here]
1992 Pollock Krasner Award, United States of America [view pdf here]
1991 Discerning Eye Award, Mall Galleries, London
1989-90 African Education Trust Award, London 

CREATIVE DIALOGUE

Art on Mind Creative Dialogue with Lallitha Jawahirilal on 10 October 2019 at The Point of Order Project Space, Wits School of the Arts, Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa (sponsored by the NRF Thutuka Fund and Wits University).

AUDIO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Lallitha Jawahirilal

TRANSCRIPT: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Lallitha Jawahirilal

ARCHIVAL RESOURCES: Lallitha Jawahirilal

WORKS by Lallitha Jawahirilal

WORKS
EXHIBITIONS
PROJECTS AND RESEARCH

CATALOGUES, PRESS AND REVIEWS on Lallitha Jawahirilal

PUBLICATIONS
INTERVIEWS & FEATURES

Artist CV
[pdf here]

Natasha Becker

Natasha Becker was born in South Africa and has spent the last sixteen years living and working between New York and Cape Town. An expert in contemporary African and African American art, she has curated a number of exhibitions in collaboration with artists, curators, collectors, galleries, museums, and foundations internationally. She recently co-curated two exhibitions, “Perilous Bodies,” and “Radical Love,” at the distinguished Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice to inaugurate their new art gallery in New York (2019). Her past experience includes curating exhibitions at the Goodman Gallery (South Africa), convening public programs in global art history at the Clark Art Institute, and launching an international video art festival (both Massachusetts, USA). Natasha is one of the co-founders of two collaborative curatorial platforms, ASSEMBLY ROOM (New York) and THE UNDERLINE SHOW (Johannesburg).

CREATIVE DIALOGUE

Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with South African Curator Natasha Becker and Sharlene Khan on 5 September 2019 at The Point of Order. The event was part of the African Feminisms (Afems) conference 2019: Theorising from the Epicentres of our Agency, at the Wits School of the Arts, Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

AUDIO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Natasha Becker

TRANSCRIPT: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Natasha Becker

Find Natasha Becker on Instagram

Assembly Room New York invited curators to speak about curating in the time of COVID19, watch episode #1 with Natasha Becker online:

View this post on Instagram

Curating at the time of COVID19 is a series of short, homemade videos, by our fellow independent women curators, discussing curating practices during the lockdown.😷 . We are committed to continuing our mission to create community and to support the work of independent women curators by sharing our stories, our work, and our inspiration in these challenging times. We invite you to enjoy our new online content created by our community of awesome women! Topics include; What does an independent curator do? What do curators think of online exhibitions? What artists, artworks, and exhibitions are curators working on or inspired by? . Our guest for the first episode is Natasha Becker, the co-founder curator of Assembly Room.🎊🎉🎊 . Bio: Natasha was born in South Africa and has spent the last sixteen years living and working between Cape Town and New York. An expert in contemporary African and African American art, she has curated a number of exhibitions in collaboration with artists, curators, collectors, galleries, museums, and foundations in South Africa and the United States. She recently co-curated two exhibitions, “Perilous Bodies,” and “Radical Love,” at the distinguished Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice to inaugurate their new art gallery in New York (2019). Her experience includes curating exhibitions at the Goodman Gallery (South Africa), organizing public programs in global art history at the Clark Art Institute, and launching an international video art festival (both Massachusetts, USA). . More to come. Stay tuned!📡📡📡

A post shared by ASSEMBLY ROOM (@assemblyroomnyc) on

ARCHIVAL RESOURCES: Natasha Becker

WORKS by Natasha Becker

CURATORIAL WORK
WRITING

PRESS AND REVIEWS on Natasha Becker

INTERVIEWS/FEATURES
REVIEWS

Mamela Nyamza

Mamela Nyamza was born and bred in Gugulethu township, near Cape Town in South Africa. From a tender age of 8 years whilst learning Ballet at the Zama Dance School in Gugulethu, Ms Nyamza, knew from the onset that, her love of body movement will eventually bring both prejudice and prestige to her career as a dance-theatre performing artist. Consistently ridiculed by her childhood peers for her athletic built toned body, to the ultimate rebuke and rejection of her natural body structure by her classical Ballet Teachers at tertiary level, Ms Nyamza inevitably was drawn to the politics of the body.

FORMALLY TRAINED AND QUALIFIED IN DANCE GENRE
In the midst of adversity, Ms Nyamza boldly proceeded to graduate from the Tshwane University of Technology with a National Diploma in Ballet in 1994. After acquiring her Diploma in Ballet, Ms Nyamza was awarded a working contract at the State Theatre, in Pretoria. It is during this tenure that Ms Nyamza started to think of radically deconstructing the normative expectations of who qualifies to be a classical Ballerina. In this process, she duly won an audition in 1999 for a prestigious scholarship to study further at the Alvin Ailey International School for Dance in New York, Unites States of America.

CHARTING WAY IN VISIONARY CHOREOGRAPHY
The extra experience Ms Nyamza got from the Alvin Ailey School of Dance, soon landed her lead dance roles in many high acclaimed International Musicals such as the Lion King, African Footprint, We Will Rock You. These quality stints as lead dancer, also exposed Ms Nyamza to other forms of dance, such as pantsula and hip-hop dance, providing her with distinct expertise in contemporary dance. Ms Nyamza’s distinction and vast experience in the genre of dance, promptly propelled to revive her initial quest to deconstruct all that is there to norm and expectations of the dance genre.

DANCING THEATRICS FOR JUSTICE IN THE ART
Vast accumulated experience in the field of dance became a solid foundation for Ms Nyamza’s distinction in creation, choreography and directing extra-ordinary fresh innovative works. By 2007, Ms Nyamza was already ahead of peers, and she was decisively awarded the Standard Bank National Young Artist for the Dance in 2011, due to her refreshingly innovative choreography and performance in the art of dance. Ms Nyamza’s highly acclaimed “HATCHED”, created in 2008, was her first work to kick-start her art programme of unapologetically demystifying, deconstructing and trampling on the norms and standards of the dance/classics.

VISIONARY ARTIST
Ms Nyamza’s immense contribution to dance-theatre and choreography, is now fast becoming legendary in the art of dance-theatre. Her various works since “HATCHED” (against patriarchy), including “THE MEAL” (against elitist ballet), “19-BORN 76-REBELS” (against youth discrimination and poverty), “LAST ATTITUDE” (against gender inequality in the dance), “I STAND CORRECTED” (against homophobia and hate crimes), “WENA MAMELA” (against gate keeping in the arts), “DE- APART-HATE” (against inhumanity and violence in society), and “PHUMA-LANGA” (against cultural domination), are all work-pieces that deal with important political and societal issues of today’s South Africa. Other major works of Nyamza include: “KUTHENI”, “ISIGQALA”, “SHIFT”, and “UMENDI”.

All these works have indeed propelled Ms Nyamza to embody and manifest the words of the Philosopher Allen Kaprow who said: “The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible”.

In many strokes of genius, Ms Nyamza has put herself in for activism for equity in the arts. Her strong belief that artists have the power to change the world the better, prompted Ms Nyamza to lead a four-women march against an exclusive elitist Theatre Awards Ceremony on 18th March 2017 in Cape Town.

Ms Nyamza’s quest to address the current state of arts in South Africa, which is still exclusive, elitist and fretted with acute patronage, has led her to create a trilogy of works: DE-APART-HATE; PHUMA-LANGA; and ROCK-TO-THE-CORE. With these works, Nyamza has indeed mastered the art of visionary and raw freshness in the field of DANCE. All these three works brilliantly raise pertinent issues of race; tolerance; identity; gate-keeping; equality; and equity audience development in the arts environment. Ms Nyamza’s newest work, BLACK PRIVILEGE, epitomises this trilogy in distinct and focused work of law and spirituality.

Ms Nyamza’s ultimate goal is to propel DANCE into the ultimate theatric and genre of the performance art that conveys body politics on all social issues, and not to just entertain.

Indeed, Ms Nyamza’s fierce critics allege that she is a “non-dancing conceptual” dancer. In her own words, Ms Nyamza counters: “one cannot separate concept from creation and choreography – they all must go hand-in-hand to yield to a complete performing artist”.

NUMEROUS ACCOLADES AND HONOURS

The accolades that Ms Nyamza has received over the years are indeed indicative that the Art Fraternity recognizes her immense contribution to the arts.

Ms Nyamza has just successfully finished her three-year tenure as one of the Advisory Panelist in DANCE for the South African National Arts Council (NAC).

Apart from receiving numerous nominations for awards, such as being nominated for the 2016 and 2017 BroadwayWorld South African Awards for Best Choreography in DE-APART-HATE and ROCK-TO-THE-CORE, Ms Nyamza received the following awards and achievements:

  1. Featured Artist of the Grahamstown Standard Bank National Arts Festival 2018, a first of its kind for the Dance Art Genre. This accolade is definitely one of the highest honor that can be bestowed to any South African artist, for the immense contribution done in the art field of the dance-theatre.
  2. Dance Umbrella Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer in Contemporary Style for “THE DYING SWAN” in 2000.
  3. Standard Bank Young Artist for the DANCE in 2010
  4. Standard Bank Ovation Award for “THE MEAL” in 2012
  5. University of Cape Town Institute of Creative Arts Fellowship Award in 2012
  6. 6. OPRAH WINFREY Women of the Year Award in 2013
  7. IMBOKODO Award for DANCE in 2016
  8. Identified by the DAILY REVIEW of Australia as one of the 30 International Artists to track in 2018, that are positively changing the world. “They are out there contributing toward peace, making work in conflict zones, growing understanding and awareness, facing misrepresentation, and organising for social change”: Shawn Lent, January 19, 2018 in http://www.dailyreview.com.au

Ms Nyamza has also travelled extensively, continuously being invited to National and International Arts Festivals, such as the Dance Umbrella, Infecting the City, and Standard Bank Fringe Festivals in South Africa, and many other International Festivals including in Congo, Germany, Mali, Belgium, Senegal, Slovenia, Singapore, and Canada.

Ms Nyamza’s work is currently being studied at various national and international universities, an indication that she is a versatile creator, choreographer and performing artist, who continues to provide relevance to both academia and the practice of arts.

Ms Nyamza’s ultimate vision is to create and direct more work that would reach the most remote areas of South Africa to unearth young, raw talent in the art of Dance in particular and performance arts in general. Ms Nyamza has already started with grass-roots work by providing mentorship workshop sessions.

CREATIVE DIALOGUE

Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with South African Dancer and Choreographer Mamela Nyamza and Beverley Barry on 6 September 2019 at Wits Theatre. The event was part of the African Feminisms (Afems) conference 2019: Theorising from the Epicentres of our Agency, at the Wits School of the Arts, Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The event was part of the African Feminisms (Afems) conference 2019: Theorising from the Epicentres of our Agency, at the Wits School of the Arts, Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa

AUDIO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Mamela Nyamza

TRANSCRIPT: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Mamela Nyamza

Find Mamela Nyamza on Instagram

ARCHIVAL RESOURCES: Mamela Nyamza

WORKS by Mamela Nyamza

CHOREOGRAPHY
PROJECTS

PRESS AND REVIEWS on Mamela Nyamza

INTERVIEWS/FEATURES
REVIEWS


Lebohang Kganye

Artist photo provided on website lebohangkganye.co.za

Lebohang Kganye is an artist living and working in Johannesburg. Kganye received her introduction to photography at the Market Photo Workshop in 2009 and completed the Advanced Photography Programme in 2011. She also completed her Fine Arts studies at the University of Johannesburg in 2016 and forms a new generation of contemporary South African photographers.

Although primarily a photographer, Kganye’s photography often incorporates her interest in sculpture and performance. Over the past seven years she has participated in photography masterclasses and group exhibitions locally and internationally. Kganye was the recipient of the Tierney Fellowship Award in 2012, leading to her exhibition Ke Lefa Laka. She created an animation from the series, which was launched on Mandela Day 2014 in Scotland, entitled Pied Piper’s Voyage. Kganye was then selected as the Featured Artist for the 17th Business and Arts South Africa Awards in 2014. She was also awarded the Jury Prize at the Bamako Encounters Biennale of African Photography in 2015 and the recipient of the CAP Prize 2016 in Basel. Kganye recently received the coveted award for the Sasol New Signatures Competition 2017, leading to a solo show in 2018. Kganye’s work forms part of several private and public collections, most notably the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pennsylvania and the Walther Collection in Ulm.

CREATIVE DIALOGUE

Lebohang Kganye and Sharlene Khan at The Point of Order, Johannesburg on 9 May 2019.

AUDIO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Lebohang Kganye

Find Lebohang Kganye on Instagram:

ARCHIVAL RESOURCES: Lebohang Kganye

WORKS by Lebohang Kganye

EXHIBITIONS
WRITING

PRESS AND REVIEWS on Lebohang Kganye

INTERVIEWS/FEATURES
REVIEWS

Wikipedia Workshops

Art on our Mind received a Wikimedia Foundation Rapid Grant from July 2019 to June 2020, which will help facilitate our meetings. We aim to broaden the number of Wikipedia entries presenting women-of-colour artists from different fields of creative and cultural production.

The workshops will train skills for beginners, so everyone is welcome. They will be facilitated by experienced Wikipedia editors or representatives of Wikimedia South Africa. For those who are interested and can’t join the meetings, or wish to participate online, online tutorials will be made available.

Participants will learn how to create and upload new articles or to expand existing entries. We will draw from research generated by the Art on our Mind research project and participants will work together creating and expanding Wikipedia entries on artists and creatives.

To prepare, please identify an artist or artist group whose entry you want to create or expand. Please bring your laptop as we will work online, editing and creating entries. 

Read an article in The Guardian what Wikimedia is doing about the fact that women make up only 15-20% of the editors on Wikipedia. [pdf here]

Upcoming AOOM Wikipedia Workshops

Due to the current health crisis all Wikimedia Rapid Grant programmes have been cancelled / postponed until further notice.

Bridge Books Edit-a-thon
Wednesday, 25 March, 16h, 90 Commissioner Street
The Bridge Books Edit-a-thons are run in collaboration with Art on our Mind, focussing on women fiction writers. They are convened in collaboration with art+feminism, more information here:

https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/Bridge_Books/ArtAndFeminism2020_(February_2020)/home

Coordination of AOOM Wikipedia Workshops

We make use of a Wikimedia platform AOOM Wikipedia Workshops to coordinate our work, find more information here: 

Past workshops

Wikipedia Workshop at Phototool
Thursday, 5 March, 10-15h

The Wikipedia workshops at Phototool are run in collaboration with Art on our Mind, aiming to enable participants to upload new articles or to expand on existing entries. Phototool has been running a research project since 2016, entitled “Survey of Photography Training and Learning Initiatives on the African Continent” which plots a map of the photography training and learning initiatives that are currently operating in African coutries.
In the workshop, we engaged with the research material which was generated by the project and participants learned how to generate references for Wikipedia entries. Participants also identified photographers/artists/creatives whose entry they helped to create or expand (individually or in group work).

Find more information here:
https://www.phototool.co.za/blog/2020/3/11/wikipedia-workshop
https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/Phototool/Phototool_Wikipedia_Workshops_(March_2020).
http://survey.phototool.co.za/about.html
https://www.phototool.co.za/blog/2016/10/27/survey-of-photography-learning-initiatives-on-the-african-continent

Bridge Books Edit-a-thon
Wednesday, 26 February 16h, 90 Commissioner Street.
The Bridge Books Edit-a-thons are run in collaboration with Art on our Mind, focussing on women fiction writers. They are convened in collaboration with art+feminism, more information here:
https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/Bridge_Books/ArtAndFeminism2020_(February_2020)/home

Oral Histories Workshop
Wednesday, 5 February, 9-13h
Seminar Room 207, 2nd floor, Robert Sobukwe Block.

The Art On Our Mind Wikipedia group joined the Orientation Workshop by the Wits History Workshop as part of our work around Oral Citations in Wikipedia entries. More information about the use of oral citations in Wikipedia here:
Oral Citations research project
People are Knowledge. Exloring alternative methods of citation on Wikipedia
When Knowledge Isn’t Written, Does It Still Count?

African Feminisms (Afems ) Wikipedia panel discussion
Saturday, 7 September 2019, 16h, Wits Graduate School
Find out more about African Feminisms (Afems) or register here.

As Wikipedia enters the voting age this year, we will look a bit closer at the online encyclopedia’s accountability and in terms of its race, gender, sexuality and other bias, to inquire what programmes are in place to educate and decolonise this space of global knowledge collection. For this panel, Afems has invited Wikimedia South Africa director Bobby Shabangu and Wiki Loves Women co-founder Isla Haddow-Flood to speak about recent efforts of Wikimedia South Africa to change the way the online spaces frame what is “knowlege” who has access and who owns it.

Bobby Shabangu is Wikimedia ZA director of projects since 2013. His editing activities on Wikipedia focus on the African continent and the Joburgpedia project which involves several institutions. He organises workshops for Wikipedia training and is part of the Community Process Steering Committee for the Wikimedia Foundation working on formulating the 2030 Movement strategy.

Isla Haddow-Flood is a writer, editor and project strategist who is passionate about harnessing communication technology and media platforms for the advancement of open access to knowledge; specifically, knowledge that relates to and enhances the understanding of Africa via the Open Movement (and especially Wikipedia). Since 2011, Isla has been working with members of the WikiAfrica movement to conceptualise and instigate #OpenAfrica, Kumusha Bus and WikiEntrepreneur. She is the co-leader of projects such as Wiki Loves Africa (an annual photographic contest), Kumusha Takes Wiki (citizen journalists in Africa collecting freely-licensed content). In 2016, Isla has co-lead the NGO Wiki In Africa to instigate Wiki Loves Women (content liberation project related to African Women), WikiFundi (an offline editing environment that mimics Wikipedia) and WikiChallenge African Schools (that introduces the next generation of editors to Wikipedia).  She also volunteers her time to the Wikimedia Movement’s strategy process by being a Working Group member for Advocacy and is a member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Annual Plan Grant committee.

Wikipedia edit-a-thon
Friday, 23 August 2019, 15h, Wits Writing Centre

Wikimedia Strategy 2030: Capacity Building and Diversity
2 August 2019, 15h, Wits Writing Centre

More than 20 participants came to engage in discussions during the Wikipedia Salon with Wikimedia ZA director Bobby Shabangu, focussing on two areas chosen by Wikimedia South Africa for the discussion of the Wikipedia 2030 strategy: Capacity Building and Diversity.

From the invite: Many people use Wikipedia as their first point of reference for their school research projects and general update on daily subject topics. The Wikimedia Foundation which runs Wikipedia would like to find out from you through a workshops which will be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town, how can they improve Wikipedia’s user interaction and how can they support content contribution so that it represent the diverse people who reads it, it’s a movement strategy which they aim to reach by year 2030 where Wikimedia content represents everyone who consumes and contributes to it. This will not be edit workshops but Salon Strategy where participants will discuss and take a short survey afterwards. So, we would like to invite you to take part in this Salon Strategy Survey. Over the next months Wikipedians around the world will be getting together to be part of this survey, so any ideas you have are very important to us. Come through! Even if you want to listen to how the conversation is going.

Shelley Barry

Shelley Barry lectures at the Department of Journalism, Film and Television Academic at the University of Johannesburg. Shelley was born and raised in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and completed graduate studies in English and Drama at the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape. She has worked extensively as a disability rights activist, following a shooting in the Cape taxi wars of 1996 that resulted in her being a wheelchair user. She has held positions as Media Manager in the Office on the Status of Disabled Persons in the Presidency and as the National Parliamentary Policy Co-ordinator for Disabled People South Africa. During this time, she co-ordinated Nelson Mandela’s guard of honour for his State of Nation address in 1997. Shelley was awarded Ford Foundation scholarship and graduated with an MFA in Film at Temple University in Philadelphia in 2006. She was a Carnegie scholar at Wits University from 2007-2008 and taught documentary at Big Fish School of Digital Filmmakingand at UWC where she pioneered filmmaking in the Women’s and Gender studies department. Shelley held positions in the FPB South Africa, Mediaworks and currently serves on the board of Street Stories Films. She is associated with Gun Free South Africa and gave a testimony towards ending gun violence at the United Nations in 2006. 

Shelley developed and managed the Programming department at Cape Town TV (CTV) 2008- 2010, which offers training workshops in filmmaking. She facilitated filmmaking workshops at The Saartjie Baartman Centre and for the organisation Genderdynamix; the Feroza Adam Legacy Programmemade it possible to run various further filmmaking programmes.Shelley ran the community based film school and production company twotrainingwheelswhich aims to explore new languages in cinema and marginalised voices having access to the craft of filmmaking. She is currently training 15 young women in mobile phone filmmaking in Diepsloot, Johannesburg and is based at The University of Johannesburg where she teaches film. She commences her Creative PhD in film at The University of the Witwatersrand since 2018. 

Her films span across genres and are largely experimental in style. She often shoots her own films, exploring the aesthetics of cinematography from the perspective of a wheelchair user. Screenings of her work have been held at major festivals and events around the world and been acquired by television, including MTV, DUTV and WYBE in the U.S and SABC and etv in South Africa. She was selected to be on the SA film delegations to MIPCOM, France, The European Film Market, Berlin, The Rio Content Market, Brazil, Cannes, France and The Tribeca Film Festival, New York. In 2017 she was selected to be the filmmaker of focus for the Mzansi Women’s Film Festival.

Awards include: Audre Lorde scholarship; Distinguished Graduate Student Award (Pennsylvania Association of Graduate schools); best film awards for the experimental documentary titled Whole-A Trinity of Being at international festivals in NYC, Canada, Moscow, San Francisco, Toronto, Philadelphia and New Jersey; best documentary for Where we planted trees(Diamond Screen film festival Philadelphia). Inclinationsmade the top ten best click list on MTN online. etv commissioned Diaries of a Dissident Poet on poet James Matthews, which premiered to a sold-out audience at Encounters in 2014. In 2018, she received the SAFTA award for Outstanding Disability Contributor to the SA Film and Television industry.

The process of reclaiming my body was an exceptionally powerful and liberating experience. I understood desire and sensuality from a completely different perspective. I realized that passion is something that everyone can access (it is not reserved for the young and the able-bodied), and it can suffuse through every aspect of our lives. I recognized the importance of self-love as opposed to requiring af rmation from others in order to love myself.

Shelley Barry (2006) Disability and desire: journey of a Filmmaker.
Feminist Africa 6, 65.

CREATIVE DIALOGUE

Shelley Barry and Beverley Barry in conversation at Rhodes Fine Art Department on 29 September 2018.

VIDEO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Shelley Barry

AUDIO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Shelley Barry

TRANSCRIPT: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Shelley Barry

ARCHIVAL RESOURCES: Shelley Barry

WORKS by Shelley Barry

FILM
WRITING

PRESS AND REVIEWS on Shelley Barry

INTERVIEWS/FEATURES
REVIEWS

Afems 2019

African Feminisms (Afems) 2019: Theorising from the Epicentres of our Agency
5-7 September 2019, Wits University, Johannesburg

Find conference website here:
https://afemsconference.wixsite.com/afems/afems-2019


Organised by the Department of Visual Arts, Wits University and the Department of Literary Studies in English, Rhodes University

The third edition of the African Feminisms (Afems) conference occurred from the 5-7 September 2019 at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, in collaboration with the Department of Literary Studies in English, Rhodes University.

The 2019 theme ws based on Nigerian Stiwanist Molara Ogundipe’s conversation in 2002 with South African black feminist Desiree Lewis in which Ogundipe states:
For me, social ideas should emerge from a consciousness that thinks of what is beneficial to a human being as a person, not because the ideas occurred or are practiced in Europe or America. We need to overcome our endemic inferiority complex towards Europe and things “white,” successfully implanted since our colonial education and through its curricula. We should think from our epicentres of agency, looking for what is meaningful, progressive and useful to us as Africans, as we enrich ourselves with forerunning ideas from all over the world including Europe and America. … I felt that as concerned African women we needed to focus on our areas of concern, socially and geographically. I am concerned with critical and social transformations of a positive nature in Africa, positive meaning, “being concerned with everything that maximises the quality of life of Africans and their potentials too”.

Keynote speakers: Patricia McFadden, Kharnita Mohamed, Lynda Gichanda Spencer and Sharlene Khan

Kharnita Mohamed lectures in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town. She is working on a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape.  She has a Masters in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her research is focused on disability, race and gender towards developing a conceptual framework for a decolonial feminist disability studies. She was raised on the Cape Flats and is frequently confounded by the contradictions of inhabiting postapartheid South Africa. Her debut novel Called to Song was published by Kwela in 2018. 

Patricia McFadden is a Radical African Eco-feminist who aspires to a life of Freedom and Joy. She is vegan and produces most of her own organic food on a mountain in eastern Swaziland. Her most recent publications are ‘Women’s Freedoms are the Heart Beat of Africa’s future: a Sankarian Imperative’ in A Certain Amount of Madness, the life, politics and legacies of Thomas Sankara, 2018; ‘Contemporarity: sufficiency in a Radical African Feminist Life’, in the journal Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, 2018.

Lynda Gichanda Spencer is Associate Professor at the Department of Literary Studies in English at Rhodes University and is principal investigator of the UCAPI Research Group, concerned with African popular modes of representation and interpretation, and especially with the ways in which local specificities and global imaginaries are articulated through popular genres. It seeks to engage critically with various knowledge productions that are embedded in local cultural forms.

Sharlene Khan is a visual artist whose multi-media works focus on the socio-political realities of a post-apartheid society and the intersectionality of race-gender-class. She was a recipient of the Rockefeller Bellagio Visual Arts residency (2009), the Canon Collins/Commonwealth Scholarship (2011), the African Humanities Post-doctoral Fellowship (2017), the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Visual Arts (2018) and was runner-up winner in the Videokunst Preis Bremen video art award (2015).  She has published three books on her artwork: What I look like, What I feel like (2009),  I Make Art (2017) and When the moon waxes red…(2018). She is co-convenor of the annual African Feminisms (Afems) Conference; and runs the NRF-Thuthuka funded Art on our Mind Research Project; the bi-weekly Black Feminist Killjoy Reading Group and the Decolonial AestheSis Creative Lab. She holds a PhD (Arts) from Goldsmiths, University of London and is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Wits School of the Arts, Wits University, Johannesburg. 

Decolonial AestheSis Creative Lab

The Art on our Mind experimental lab was facilitated by Prof Bhekizizwe Peterson (South African literature scholar and screen writer); Jon Alpert (American journalist and documentary filmmaker); Laura Andel (Argentine composer ); Vibha Galhotra (Indian visual artist); Sharlene Khan (visual artist) and Fouad Asfour (art writer and editor).
8-14 July  2018
School of Fine Arts  |   Somerset Street
Grahamstown, South Africa

More information below and on the DACL blog.

Continue reading “Decolonial AestheSis Creative Lab”

Senzeni Marasela

Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Senzeni Marasela

Senzeni Marasela is a cross-disciplinary artist who explores photography, video, prints, and mixed-medium installations involving textiles and embroidery. Her work deals with history, memory, and personal narrative, emphasizing historical gaps and overlooked figures. Her work includes embroidery, print and video as well as performance and has been widely exhibited in South Africa, Europe and the US. Her work features in prominent local and international collections, including MoMA, New York. She was recently part of the Johannesburg Pavillion at the last Venice Biennale.

Born in Thokoza, South Africa, Marasela studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where she obtained a BA Fine Arts in 1998. In 2003 she started a project titled Theodorah comes to Johannesburg, a durational performance based on her mother Theodorah’s stories about travels from the rural area of Mvenyane to Johannesburg, a journey of 11 hours. Like many young black women in the city, her mother was traumatised by events that took place in apartheid South Africa during the 1960s. Many black women returned to live in the countryside and many more were forced to undertake journeys into strangeness. Marasela wore a yellow dress that her mother gave her, taking on Theodorah as an alter ego. The artist has always felt that Theodorah’s story was representative of that of many black women in South Africa. The emblematic yellow dress has been translated into drawings, prints and thread works, always with the figure’s back to the audience. The story of Theodorah never left Marasela’s work and has at times been combined with that of Sarah Baartman (who was ‘exhibited’ around nineteenth- century Europe as the ‘Hottentot Venus’) and of the artist herself.

CREATIVE DIALOGUE

Dr Sharlene Khan and Senzeni Marasela at Rhodes Fine Art Department on 26 April 2018.

VIDEO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Senzeni Marasela

AUDIO: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Senzeni Marasela

 

Find Senzeni Marasela on Instagram:

 

My work as an Artist currently centres around narrating the life of my alter ego. Persona. Theodorah. A rural woman abandoned by her husband , comes to Johannesburg to look for him. I have taken on a journey to wear the Theodorah dress everyday . The journey has not been easily but made possible with the generosity of a number of people . Acting on my faith I have written to Art Lovers, Art Collectors and Artists and made requests that they donate a dress or dresses . The dream is to have 150 dresses. I will wear all of them , as I do with the number I have . I am under 50 dresses at the moment . I will end the project in 2019 , 1 October. #artistswork #theartofsenzenimarasela #artistmovement #searchforgebaneinmines #artistinspiration #SenzeniMarasela #davidzwirner #davidzweinergallery #smithsonian #art154fair #ArtLondon #ArtReview #cantstopwontstop #akaa @jackshainman @mariangoodmangallery #africa #African_art_collectors_magazine #moma #tatemodern #cantstopwontstop #nytimes #artwork #artist #tiwanicontemporary #gallery #ArtLondon #artbasel #artbaselmiami #icp #metropolitanmuseumofart #saatchigallery #sunujournal

A post shared by Senzeni Mthwakazi Marasela (@theartofsenzenimarasela) on

Find Senzeni Marasela on Twitter:

ARCHIVAL RESOURCES: Senzeni Marasela

WORKS by Senzeni Marasela
VISUAL ART
EXHIBITIONS
TALKS
COLLABORATIONS

CATALOGUES, PRESS AND REVIEWS on Senzeni Marasela
PUBLICATIONS
INTERVIEWS/FEATURES
REVIEWS

Artist CV
Afronova, Johannesburg, South Africa, [download pdf here]
Axis Gallery, New Jersey, USA, [download pdf here]
Gallery AOP, Johannesburg, South Africa

CURRENT

Art on our Mind Creative Dialogues

Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with South African painter Lallitha Jawahirilal

Lallitha Jawahirilal (b. 1955, Ladysmith) is a South African visual artist, she enrolled at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London in 1984 where she graduated with a BA Degree in in 1987. She continued to study at the Royal College of Art London and graduated with an MA degree in 1989. She collaborated with South African exile writers, musicians, sculptors, painters and photographers in the UK and engaged in fundraising efforts for to support the anti-apartheid movement, and participated in group exhibitions, including the ‘Artists Against Apartheid’ exhibition in the Upper Street Gallery. She held solo exhibitions at the Africa Centre in Stockholm, Gallery 21 in Johannesburg and the Galerie Trapez in Berlin. In 1990, she was awarded a residency by the Delfina Studios Trust in London and won the Discerning Eye Award in 1991, and the Pollack Krasner Award in 1992.

Her work deals with space as a deeply embedded construct in one’s psyche during exile. Jawahirilal fled apartheid South Africa in the 1980s and went into self-imposed exile in London where she then took up her art studies, continuously engaged her contradictory feelings to her home country (and especially her home town of Ladysmith) which wavers between deep loving emotion, on-going conflict and in some senses, a feeling of spiritual entanglement with her place of birth. Using her own poetry, mixed media (painting and collage), Jawahirilal’s Oh South Africa(1980, 2011) series reflects her longing for her home during her time away in London, but also since 2004 when she took up permanent residence in India. 

Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with performance artist, dancer and choreographer Mamela Nyamza

Friday 6 September 16h-18h Wits Downstairs Theatre.

Mamela Nyamza (born and raised in Gugulethu, Cape Town) trained in dance at the Zama Dance School under the Royal Academy of Dance (Cape Town, South Africa). She furthered her studies at Pretoria Dance Technikon where she obtained a National Diploma in Ballet (Pretoria, South Africa). In 1998 she received a scholarship to study dance at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre (New York, USA). Thereafter, she joined the State Theatre Dance Company (South Africa) and participated in national and international performances. Nyamza also attended choreography workshops at the Vienna International Dance Festival. She also received ballet training from Martin Schonberg at the Pact Dance Company (Pretoria, South Africa), attended African Dance workshops by Jamaine Acogny (Soweto, South Africa), and studied a dance course at Sadler’s Wells Theatre (London, United Kingdom).
She also focuses on socio-political themes such as violence, rape and lesbian identity. She recently returned from Edinburgh, UK, as one of the delegates from South Africa for the Edinburgh Theatre and Dance showcase under the British Council. Awards include: Standard Bank Young Artist Award in Dance (2011), Featured Artist in Dance at the National Arts Festival (2018), Mbokodo in Dance (2016), GLAMOUR creative women, among others. She is now based at the South African State Theatre as a Deputy Artistic Director, and some of her mandate is Curator for Dance Umbrella Africa, VAVASATI and 16 Days of Activism at The South African State Theatre.

She interrogates the dance medium of classical ballet and challenges the conventions for traditional dance norms taught in formal dance education and is skilled in multiple dance forms such as: modern dance, African dance, the Horton technique, Spanish dance, jazz movement, mime, flying low technique, release technique, gumboot dance, Butoh and many more.

Select solo and group performances include De-Apart-Hate at Johannesburg Dance Umbrella (Johannesburg, South Africa, 2017), Hatched (Johannesburg, France, Germany, Singapore, Egypt, Cairo, Mali, Tchad, USA, and UK’s Dance Umbrella, 2011; Infecting the City, Cape Town, 2013), I Stand Corrected, in collaboration with UK-based artist Mojisola Adebayo at the Ovalhouse (London, United Kingdom, 2012) and later at the Soweto Theatre, South Africa; Isingqala and Amafongkong, collaborative productions with the Adugna Dance Theatre Company (Ethiopia) at the National Arts Festival (Grahamstown, South Africa, 2011), and African Footprints (2006). Her latest work Black Privilege is still on demand internationally and nationally.

Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with contemporary art curator Natasha Becker

Thursday 5 September 15.30h The Point of Order Gallery, Corner Bertha and, Stiemens St, Johannesburg.

Natasha was born in South Africa and has spent the last sixteen years living and working between New York and Cape Town. An expert in contemporary African and African American art, she has curated a number of exhibitions in collaboration with artists, curators, collectors, galleries, museums, and foundations internationally. She recently co-curated two exhibitions, “Perilous Bodies,” and “Radical Love,” at the distinguished Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice to inaugurate their new art gallery in New York (2019). Her past experience includes curating exhibitions at the Goodman Gallery (South Africa), convening public programs in global art history at the Clark Art Institute, and launching an international video art festival (both Massachusetts, USA). Natasha is one of the co-founders of two collaborative curatorial platforms, ASSEMBLY ROOM (New York) and THE UNDERLINE SHOW (Johannesburg). 

Theorising from the
Epicentres of our Agency

African Feminisms (Afems) Conference 2019
5-7 September 2019, Wits University, Johannesburg

Organised by the Department of Visual Arts, Wits University and the Department of Literary Studies in English, Rhodes University

The third edition of the African Feminisms (Afems) conference will happen from the 5-7 September 2019 at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, in collaboration with the Department of Literary Studies in English, Rhodes University.
The 2019 theme is based on Nigerian Stiwanist Molara Ogundipe’s conversation in 2002 with South African black feminist Desiree Lewis in which Ogundipe states:

For me, social ideas should emerge from a consciousness that thinks of what is beneficial to a human being as a person, not because the ideas occurred or are practiced in Europe or America. We need to overcome our endemic inferiority complex towards Europe and things “white,” successfully implanted since our colonial education and through its curricula. We should think from our epicentres of agency, looking for what is meaningful, progressive and useful to us as Africans, as we enrich ourselves with forerunning ideas from all over the world including Europe and America. … I felt that as concerned African women we needed to focus on our areas of concern, socially and geographically. I am concerned with critical and social transformations of a positive nature in Africa, positive meaning, being concerned with everything that maximises the quality of life of Africans and their potentials too.

This conversation highlights issues that continue to resonate with black-African-postcolonial feminists in Africa and beyond: lived experience as sites of knowledge; epistemologies tied to geo-specific bodies; long heterogenous world histories that co-exist with indigenous knowledges; cultural seepage; humanistic philosophical stances that refuse the ‘othering’ of Africa(ns) and claim our space and place in world-making; embodied thinking-doing; a plurality of feminisms that respond to the diversity of African women; the centrality of women in decolonial paradigms; an acknowledgement of acts of agency that define Africans on a daily basis; and a good dose of hopefulness for the future. For the 2019 Afems conference, we would like to issue a Call for Presentations around the idea of theorising from the epicentres of our agency, thinking through some of these areas:

  • What defines our epicentres?
  • What are the sites and range of ‘lived experiences’ that we are dealing with as we head towards the change of another decade and a fight back by what bell hooks has termed ‘white supremacist capitalist patriarchy’?
  • What knowledges inform our centering and doing?
  • What does ‘theorising’ mean for black-African women?
  • How do we contest the colonial theory-praxis divide?
  • What role does creativities play in our world-thinking and world-making?
  • ‘Agency’ in Africa has so many connotations including the stereotype of the ‘development agency’. What does it mean ‘to have agency’? Does agency = active? What does it mean to be an agent or to be agentic?
  • How do we create change and organisations from the epicentres of the fields and the grassroots?
  • How does theorising from our geo-specific epicentres disrupt colonial paradigms and rethink decolonial epistemologies?
  • Can there be a centre without margins? Who are our margins as we look out from our epicentres?

How can we reach out from our diverse epicentres in our various countries in Africa across Anglophone/Lusophone/ Francophone divides to each other and to sisters across the seas to have global conversations that respond to not only the global eco-capitalist crisis we are in, but to enrich the terrain of the human experiences we share?

As always, all sessions are free and open to the university and general public. However, a registration fee of R500 will be charged to participants to cover the printing of the programme, drinks and meals. Registration fees will have to be paid in advance of the conference and are non-refundable.

To register, follow this link:
https://www.quicket.co.za/events/79049-african-feminisms-conference-2019/

The African Feminisms (Afems) Conference is hosted by the Art on our Mind research project run by Prof Sharlene Khan (Wits University) and the Urban Connections and Popular Imaginaries in Africa (UCAPI) research project run by Dr Lynda Spencer (Rhodes University). 

For more information, refer to the website of Afems at:
https://afems2018.wixsite.com/afemsconference

Or contact Prof Khan or Dr Spencer on afrifems17@gmail.com.

Afems is generously supported by


Donors who are interested in supporting the conference, find Afems banking details here.