Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Thuli Gamedze

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The art world in South Africa observed


FROM THE ARCHIVE 1: February 2016:

Thuli Gamedze – a middle class Black person, as she calls herself – observes the art world in South Africa, specifically in Cape Town, in an attempt to reconcile personal encounters in various art spaces that seem to present multiple tensions between viewer, artist, art object, and gallery structure- due to the latter’s implied neutrality.

Memory  drawing of Sophia Lehulere (2015, chalk on blackboard, 70 x 100cm) of ‘Untitled’ painting by Gladys Mgudlandlu (undated, gouache on paper, 51 x 70cm), part of ‘History Will Break Your Heart’, of Kemang Wa Lehulere, 2015.

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To Hell with Monuments

LungiswaGqunta at 5: We celebrate the 5th anniversary of this magazine with the re-publication of a number of remarkable essays. This article of the South African artist and writer Thuli Gamedze was published in April 2015. It talks about the student protests in her country in that year. On a general, even universal level however it talks about the correction of the history by tearing down monuments that were once made to hero-ize a person or an event, but that now can and must be seen as symbols of a malign colonial system.

Thuli Gamedze challenges colonial and other monuments.
Detail of a site specific work of Lungiswa Gqunta.

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Sisipho Ngodwana: On Misbehaving Cultural Capital


Thulile Gamedze reflects on the urgency of creative, transdisciplinary practices for black women in postcolonial spaces, thinking through artist, collaborator in iQhiya collective (1), and friend Sisipho Ngodwana’s work.

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The Zone of Proximal Development


South African artist and critic Thuli Gamedze and her brother Asher, researcher talk about ‘the zone of proximal development’ : how can you – with assistance – let grow, multiply, specialize and expand a basic familiar knowledge of art. They talk about the possible tools to reach that goal.  “In the final section when we imagine a future world, we are grounded within rigorous self-engagement, and our engagement with other peoples’ worlds helps us to think about contradiction between everyday life and the imagined.”

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African Art and Film Practices: Processes of Colonial Creative Containment

ThuliAfripedia Senegal (film still, Omar Victor Diop) 2014, 28 min 30 Courtesy of Stocktown Films

“Filmmaking arrived in Africa with the intended function of ‘civilising’ the African population. The way that they would do this was through the introduction of western norms and ideals portrayed in film, which was a simultaneous strategy of erasure and dismissal of African existence as this exotic and superstitious experience. The role of film in this sense was a way to render our own stories useless to us.”

Filmmaker Mzonke Maloney in his conversation with art critic Thuli Gamedze
Afripedia: Senegal film still Omar Victor Diop, 2014 (28-min-30-Courtesy-of-Stocktown-Films)

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