'Inhabiting the Frame', colloquium: 9 - 10 October 2017
Oct
9
to Oct 10

'Inhabiting the Frame', colloquium: 9 - 10 October 2017

Responding to the exhibition, Priya Ramrakha: A Pan African Perspective, 1950-1968 (FADA Gallery, October 2017), VIAD hosted an intimate colloquium entitled, Inhabiting the Frame - Documentary & Dubjectivity in the Anti/Post/Colonial Visual Archive. Running from 9 - 10 October, 2017 (FADA Gallery), conversations in the colloquium engaged with questions of agency, subjectivity and the implicit politics and 'ethical demands' of photo-documentary, in relation to anti-colonial and postcolonial struggles in Africa.

Participants included: Omar Badsha, Rory Bester, Linda Chernis, Khwezi Gule, Pamila Gupta, Keval Harie, Erin Haney, Patricia Hayes, Natasha Himmelman, Cynthia Kros, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, John Edwin Mason, Peter McKenzie, Geoffrey Ogwaro, Sethembile Msezane, Dan Ojwang, Shravan Vidyarthi and Paul Weinberg.

Photographer and former Afrapix member, Peter McKenzie, passed away just two days after the colloquium, where he presented a thought-provoking paper on teaching the history of African photography. On behalf of all those who participated in the colloquium programme - many of whom were personal friends and colleagues - VIAD would like to acknowledge Peter's warm and generous personality, as well as his seminal contribution to photographic practice and pedagogy in South Africa.

View Event →
'PRIYA RAMRAKHA: A Pan-African Perspective, 1950-1968', exhibition opening: 5 October 2017
Oct
5
6:00 PM18:00

'PRIYA RAMRAKHA: A Pan-African Perspective, 1950-1968', exhibition opening: 5 October 2017

5 October - 1 November 2017 | FADA Gallery

Curated by Erin Haney & Shravan Vidyarthi, in collaboration with the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD)

In collaboration with curators Dr. Erin Haney and Shravan Vidyarthi, VIAD recently presented the first comprehensive survey of images by pioneering Indian-Kenyan photojournalist Priya Ramrakha. Following the recent recovery of his archive in Nairobi, and the production of African Lens (2008) – an award-winning documentary by Shravan Vidyarthi – the photographs on exhibition tracked Ramrakha’s global travels in the 1950s and 1960s, and his sensitive chronicling of anti-colonial and post-independence struggles in Africa, the Middle East and the United States.

Seeking to address the largely unacknowledged contribution of Ramrakha’s visual commentary, this important exhibition afforded viewers an opportunity to reconsider the ethical imperatives and dilemmas of photographic journalism, in relation to the complex disentanglement of Africa from colonial rule, and to reflect on that history as layered by multiple human experiences.

View Event →
'isiShweshwe', book launch: 14 September 2017
Sep
14
6:00 PM18:00

'isiShweshwe', book launch: 14 September 2017

On 14 September, 2017, VIAD hosted the Johannesburg launch of isishweshwe: A history of the Indigenisation of Blueprint in South Africa, written by VIAD Research Associate Juliette Leeb-du Toit. In a landmark account of the social history of isishweshwe, Leeb-du Toit chronicles the influence and use of indigo, the fabric’s initial emergence in Europe, and its journey via ship and trade to the shores of South Africa in the 17th and 18thcenturies. The book launch was accompanied by an exhibition of works by contemporary South African artists Senzeni Marasela and Siwa Mgoboza.

View Event →
'Lesser Violence', panel discussion: 31 August 2017
Aug
31
7:00 PM19:00

'Lesser Violence', panel discussion: 31 August 2017

On Thursday 31 August (the last day of Women’s Month), VIAD and GALA (Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action) jointly hosted an intimate discussion around performance art practices as modes of addressing the problematic of gendered violence and rape culture in South Africa. Moderated by VIAD curator and researcher, Amie Soudien, the panel included artists Donna Kukama, Gabrielle Goliath, Nondumiso Msimanga and Senzeni Marasela.

The discussion brought together a community of artists, curators, researchers, activists and writers with a shared interest in gender rights, and with a view to initiating dialogue around artistic strategies for working with, through, around and against enactments of gendered and sexualised violence, and their systemic perpetuation. With the support of GALA ,and other partners, VIAD is planning a related performance program for 2018.

View Event →
'DID SOMEONE SAY DECOLONISATION? DID SOMEONE SAY FREEDOM?' with Prof Anthony Bogues & Prof Handel Wright: 11 August 2017
Aug
11
7:00 PM19:00

'DID SOMEONE SAY DECOLONISATION? DID SOMEONE SAY FREEDOM?' with Prof Anthony Bogues & Prof Handel Wright: 11 August 2017

On Wednesday 16 August, 2017, VIAD hosted an evening of presentations and discussion with Professors Anthony Bogues and Handel Kashope Wright. Having interacted with FADA students in a series of student-led seminars on ‘Decolonizing Forward’, Bogues and Wright presented individual reflections on key issues and challenges around decolonisation, in relation to pedagogy and the university project, as well as to notions of freedom and the radical imagination. Presentations were followed by a conversation and Q&A session, moderated by UJ PhD candidate Thabang Monoa.

Anthony Bogues is Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory as well as Africana Studies at Brown University. He is also the Director of the Centre for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University.

Handel Kashope Wright is Professor and Director of the Centre for Culture, Identity & Education at the University of British Columbia.

View Event →
'Promises and Lies - The ANC, Exile, and the Project of Freedom', exhibition opening: 11 May 2017
May
11
6:00 PM18:00

'Promises and Lies - The ANC, Exile, and the Project of Freedom', exhibition opening: 11 May 2017

11 May - 4 June 2017 | FADA Gallery
Curated by Dr Siona O'Connell, in collaboration with the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD)

In this timeous exhibition, curator Siona O'Connell critically re-presented a recently uncovered archive of photographs by award-winning British photographer Laurie Sparham, chronicling the experience of ANC exiles living in Tanzania and Zambia from 1989-1990. Featuring a provocative new documentary by O’Connell, titled Promises & Lies – Fault Lines in the ANC, the exhibition offered viewers a chance to consider the sacrifices and aspirations of political exile, and to rethink the promises of freedom it represented, in relation to a current landscape of crisis and failure in which we, as ‘new South Africans’, find ourselves complicit. Situating the images in conversation with key extracts from the Freedom Charter, audiences were asked to think about links and traces, aspirations and accountability – and, for O'Connell, "difficult questions we must ask of history and its resonances in the present".

View Event →
'Promises and Lies - Fault Lines in the ANC', documentary premiere: 4 May 2017
May
4
6:00 PM18:00

'Promises and Lies - Fault Lines in the ANC', documentary premiere: 4 May 2017

On the 4th of May, 2017, VIAD hosted the premiere of Dr Siona O’Connell’s provocative documentary, Promises & Lies – Fault Lines in the ANC. The premiere was screened in the tented pavilion on Constitution Hill, and was opened with an address by former Finance Minister Mr. Pravin Gordhan.

As an exercise in collective self-criticism, Promises & Lies – Fault Lines in the ANC asks difficult questions around collective memory, accountability and the ongoing demand for active citizenry – encouraging viewers to rethink histories of liberation struggle in relation to what O’Connell describes as an, “as of yet unrealised freedom”.

View Event →