Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Themba Tsotsi

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Mawande Ka Zenzile


I want you to talk about your main and artistic modality, and what you see to be the symbolic and literal place you as an artist occupy, in both the western context and in your African context.

Themba Tsotsi in conversation with Mawande Ka Zenzile from South Africa

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Kresiah Mukwazhi: Strapped with Power


The exhibition discoursed the theme of powerlessness through the stories of a sex worker who became a prophetess, Madzimai Catherine in the Nyenyedzi Nomwe Apostolic Church. Mukwazhi sought to subvert the traditional power relations imposed on women’s bodies by patriarchal structures.

Themba Tsotsi on the Zimbabwean artist Kresiah Mukwazhi
Chakatanga ndicho chakachenjedza, 2021, detail.

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Lisolomzi Pikoli


The figures in the exhibition were expressed in a way that concretized their historic circumstances as black bodies. Being immersed in a space that welcomes their lack of navigating their bodies in a culture that makes what is visual pedagogic.

Themba Tsotsi on the South African artist Lisolomzi Pikoli.
Rhizomes, 2020

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Musa N. Nxumalo: Hashtags as Signpost of Power

MusaInstallation View

Nxumalo’s exhibition was an exercise in how the black male body seeks to find a form of redemption in a culture that is gluttonous with representation and its capability to take voice and power from its subject.

Themba Tsotsi on the work of Musa N. Nxumalo
Installation view We are running out of hashtags, SMAC Gallery, 2020

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Barthélémy Togue


Toguo is an artist concerned about organic connections in times when human relationships are characterised by what is frail. Instead of making the people of Douala modern day martyrs living in the context of advanced capitalism, he created works that resonate with the rest of Cameroonian society.

Themba Tsotsi writes on the work of Barthélémy Togue
Bilongue: bad luck, 2020. Read more »