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'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".