Popular

The Exhibition Displaying the Artwork of a Convicted Murderer is Defending It

The lead curator says the display is an 'opportunity for dialogue on violence against women.'

UPDATE 03/10: The lead curator of the Javett Art Center at the University of Pretoria, Gabi Ngcobo, is defending the display of the artwork belonging to former South African painter and photographer, Zwelethu Mthethwa, according to the BBC. Mthethwa was convicted of murdering a sex worker in 2017 and subsequently sentenced to 18 years in prison. However, the display of his artwork at the "All in a Day's Eye: The Politics of Innocence" exhibition has sparked outrage among activists and sex workers' advocacy groups.


In defending the exhibition's decision to continue displaying Mthethwa's artwork, Ngcobo said that, "We agree that Zwelethu is causing pain and so the idea that an exhibition is a platform for celebrating, promoting, making things more relevant, for me as a curator is quite problematic; because our aim was to problematize [sexual violence]." He added that, "We have seen in South Africa people coming from jail, having served time, being celebrated and we want to create a space where there is no space for this person to be in our midst anymore."

This matter however, is not new. Back in 2016, while Mthethwa was on trial for murder, another of his artworks was displayed at the "Our Lady" exhibition at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town. The curator of the exhibition, Kirsty Cockerill, also defended the artwork by saying that, "Curators are not judges, and museums are not courtrooms." She added that, "A lot of the art world has veered away from it. But, we feel we cannot be judge or jury."

Continue for Original Story:

The Sex Workers Education Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) is a rights group which is advocating for the decriminalization of sex work in South Africa. More recently, they are fighting for the artwork of former South African painter and photographer, Zwelethu Mthethwa, to be removed from an exhibition entitled "All in a Day's Eye: The Politics of Innocence" at the University of Pretoria's Javett Art Center. Mthethwa was convicted of the murder of Nokuphila Kumalo, a 23-year-old sex worker at the time, after his gruesome act was caught on CCTV footage. In 2017, Mthethwa was sentenced to 18 years and is currently serving the remainder of his sentence at Pollsmoor Prison. The center has put his artwork on display with the caption that highlights that Mthethwa still maintains his innocence till this day.

Prominent South African reproductive rights activist Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng and Kenyan poet and human rights activist, Shailja Patel, have both called out the University of Pretoria for their inclusion of Mthethwa's artwork on their respective social media platforms. The two have both criticized the university's decision to uphold Mthethwa's own continued claim of innocence with Dr Tlaleng insisting that it is "a violent erasure of his deeds" and Patel reminding the institution that Mthethwa was "caught on camera".

SWEAT has now created and shared an online petition asking South Africans to mobilize and demand that Mthethwa's artwork be removed immediately. However, the University of Pretoria has not yet responded to calls to have the artwork taken down.


Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

Thebe Magugu's AW21 Collection 'Alchemy' Is An Exploration of African Spirituality

Magugu collaborated with Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a '70s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo

South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu has released his AW21 collection, Alchemy, and it is beautiful. For his latest collection, the 2019 LVMP prize winner introduced a redefinition of his previous work, Counter Intelligent, featuring embroidered chiffon dresses, pink blazers and cinched waist belts.

For the new collection, Thebe Magugu collaborated with the photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a 1970s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo. The short film, which is written, directed and photographed by Moolman, shows the power play between two rival girl gangs named the "ultimate midnite angels" who speak Zulu and Setswana.

The short film begins at the river with an initiation rite, then the sending out of the initiated woman to become a spy. There's also a love affair between two women of rival tribes that warrants a capture. Each scene of the movie introduces the fits to the collection as well as exhibiting the fluidity of the outfits.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Photo: WH Moustapha

Mdou Moctar Announces Debut Album 'Afrique Victime'

The album is a collaboration between Mdou, his band members and his rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane.

Matador Records has announced that the eagerly anticipated album Afrique Victime by Mdou Moctar will be released on May 21.

Afrique Victime is an unprecedented collaboration between Mdou, his band members, and Ahmoudou Madassane, who's been his rhythm guitarist since 2008. The album will present an effortless fusion of Saharan and rock music; melding guitar pyrotechnics, full-blast noise, and field recordings with poetic meditations.

You might have come across Mdou on Off White's "Imaginary TV" channel, who designer Virgil Abloh called, "one of my favorite musicians Rn."

Mdou's desert village Agadez, in rural Niger, is his source of inspiration. He attributes his artistic style to traditional Tuareg melodies and YouTube videos of Eddie Van Halen's six string techniques. Mdou has also worked on film projects. He wrote, produced, and starred in the first Tuareg language film: a remake of Purple Rain called Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai– which translates to "Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It." This earned him approval from his community and popularity across West Africa. This soon led to world tours and albums on the independent US label Sahel Sounds, including 2019's landmark Ilana: The Creator, which earned Mdou an international audience.

Keep reading... Show less
Music

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Rema, Adekunle Gold x Patoranking, Yaw Tog x Stormzy x Kwesi Arthur, Sun-El Musician x Msaki and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Senegal Protests Result in First Confirmed Death

Several reports have confirmed that one protestor has been killed in demonstrations taking place in Senegal following opposition leader Ousmane Sonko's recent arrest.