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.
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
TRANSCRIPT: Art on our Mind Creative Dialogue with Lebohang Kganye
Our workshops are open to everyone who is interested to learn about editing Wikipedia, our focus is on increasing the number of Wikipedia entries presenting women-of-colour artists from different fields of creative and cultural production. We are collaborating with experienced Wikipedia editors or representatives of Wikimedia South Africa to facilitate workshops and give recommendations about our work.
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.
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).
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
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 Barrylectures 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.
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
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”.
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.
22-25 June 2018, Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town 31-37 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 11- 4pm Contact Nkule Mabaso on 021 650 7170 for more information
The exhibition Re-membering: Memory, Intimacy, Archive features works by South African artists Reshma Chhiba, Sharlene Khan and Jordache A. Ellapen from their projects titled Kali (2008) and The Two Talking Yonis (2013); When the Moon Waxes Red (2016); and Queering the Archive: Brown Bodies in Ecstasy (2016) respectively. In these projects, through the lens of the ‘Indian’ experience, these artists explore and unsettle notions of memory, race, class, gender, and sexuality in post-apartheid South Africa and comment on the nuances and complexities of everyday life in South Africa. In Chhiba’s works, the Indian goddess Kāli is a central starting point where particular reference is made to her iconography and mythology. For her series, Khan works with different visual media like video-art, digital photography, and needle-lace to produce “visual textured narratives”, which narrate the difficult circumstances experienced by migratory women. Ellapen engages black and white archival studio photographs and digital photographs to produce digital “visual assemblages” that disrupts the heteronormative logics of family, community, and nation. Their works jointly speak to everyday experiences and performativities of identities shaped through the tensions of cultural migrations, familial love, loss and mythologies that are too often simplistically and sentimentally rendered. These entanglements add richness to a segment of South African history that is still lacking.
Re-membering Lunchtime Lecture, UCT 25 July 2018
Lunchtime lecture by Sharlene Khan and Reshma Chhiba on their exhibition with Jordache Ellapen “Re-membering: Memory, Intimacy, Archive” held at the University of Cape Town, 25 July 2018
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 July2018 School of Fine Arts | Somerset Street Grahamstown, South Africa
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.
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
The Black Feminist Killjoy Reading Group is run by Dr Sharlene Khan and the Art on our Mind research group. If you are interested in exploring fictional and non-fictional cultural practices of women killjoys of colour from around the globe – in order to think through our own lives – this reading group is for you.
Friends from outside of the department and field are most welcome.
Art on our Mind was located at Rhodes University from 2016-18, and moved to the Wits School of Art in 2019. The Reading Group will continue in both venues, please contact Prof Sharlene Khan for Joburg Reading Group meetings, or Zodwa Tutani, Viwe Madinda or Jodie Pather for meetings in Makhanda.
From 27-29 September 2018, Art on our Mind hosted the African Feminisms Conference (Afems), which featureed a retrospective of South African documentary filmmaker Shelley Barry, and the South African cuators’ conversation Curating as World-Making.
Started in 2017, the African Feminisms Conference (Afems) is an annual African feminist-centred dialogue and creative expression space, encouraging intellectual engagement and social networking. Afems provides a collaborative research platform for students and established scholars in Fine Arts and Literary Studies in English through the lens of African feminism.
Art on our Mind creative dialogue: Curating as World-Making
Sharlene Khan in conversation with curators Nkule Mabaso, Nomusa Makhubu, Same Mdluli, Nontobeko Ntombela, Zodwa Tutani on the possibilities and challenges in visual arts curation in South Africa (panelists’ biographies below). The discssuion took place in context of Afems 2018 conference ‘The Mute Always Speak’: (Re) imagining and re-imaging feminist futures on 28 September 2018.
VIDEO: Curating as World-Making panel discussion
AUDIO: Curating as World-Making panel discussion
TRANSCRIPT: Curating as World-Making panel discussion