Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Athi Mongezeleli Joja

text: email

Kemang Wa Lehulere


Like a true sadist, Kemang Wa Lehulere’s show disavows any grand finale by always opening up “the end.” We leave the show content, filled but not certain with what exactly.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja on Kemang Wa Lehulere.
Red Winter, 2016.

Read more »

Sikhumbuzo Makhandula


“I discovered that I come from a family of practitioners, of healers, something that in the family…a Christian family, was silenced actually. It was never spoken about, even till today,” he reveals.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja in conversation with Sikhumbuzo Makhandula

Read more »

Alfredo Jaar’s Show


After all colonization was essentially based on the art of seeing – of seeing the other through the perspective or gaze of the western world. Or fixing the observed other in a frame or lens like photographer or a hunter tracing a wild thing through the pistol’s lens.

Athi Mongezeleli looks back on two controversial exhibitions of Alfreda Jaar in Johannesburg.
Frantz Fanon Tribute, 2016 (photo David Mann).

Read more »

From the Cape Town Art Fair to #theopening


In fact arts’ own capacity for re-composition and self-realization is contingent on its ability to change the world. This utilitarian trait of art isn’t something forced upon it since art can choose otherwise. Art autonomy therefore is possible only when art chooses the path consistent with the agenda of constructing a revolutionary situation and subjectivity. Thami Mnyele Lives!

Concludes Athi Mongezeleli Joja
Installation view, Cape Town Art Fair.

Read more »

New work of Zanele Muholi


Her endeavor at writing with light or rather writing herself into being, being black, blacks out in the face of her existential predicament. Instead of offering a critical reflection on negrophobia, Muholi’s game of parody gets entangled in negrophilia. This isn’t to disavow the potentiality of subversion, but to note the risky slippage of it subsidizing the already existing white jouissance. From this point of view, activism meets stasis.

Athi Mongezeleli Joja on the new photoworks of Zanele Muholi.
Somnyama Ngonyama 2, Oslo, 2015

Read more »