April 25, 2023 - May 24, 2023
Abantu Bethu (Our People) is an exhibition featuring works from Ricky Dyaloyi, Benjamin Furawo, Phillemon Hlungwani, Teresa Kutala Firmino,Charles Kamangwana, Speelman Mahlangu, Ignatius Mokone, Blessing Ngobeni, Selwyn Pekeur, Atang Tshikare, Chibuike Uzoma, Breeze Yoko, Mongezi Gum, Duke Norman, Restone Maambo and Daniel ‘Kgomo’ Morolong. The exhibition celebrates the rich and diverse cultural heritage of African people. Through this exhibition, we explore the many ways in which African people have expressed themselves over the years, through art, music, dance, and other forms of creative expression.
As Chinua Achebe once said, "Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." This exhibition seeks to redress this imbalance by putting the stories and experiences of African people at the center of the narrative.
One of the most striking things about African art is its diversity. From the intricate carvings of the Akan people of Ghana to the colorful beadwork of the Maasai of Kenya, African art is as varied as the people who create it. As Zakes Mda once wrote, "African art is not a monolith. It is as diverse as the continent itself."
At the heart of this exhibition are the people who inspire these works of art. As Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane once said, "The people are the wellspring of culture." Through the art on display, we see the many ways in which African people have celebrated their identity, from the vibrant street fashion of Soweto to the intricate hairstyles of the Himba people of Namibia.
But this exhibition is not just a celebration of African culture. It is also a reminder of the challenges that African people have faced over the years, from colonialism to apartheid. As Njabulo Ndebele once wrote, "South Africa is a country in which the weight of the past is heavy and where the present is laden with uncertainties."
Through the art on display, we see the many ways in which African people have resisted oppression and asserted their identities. From the powerful political posters of the anti-apartheid struggle to the vibrant music of the Afrobeat movement, African people have always found ways to express themselves and assert their humanity.
Ultimately, this exhibition is a celebration of the resilience and creativity of African people. Through the art on display, we see the many ways in which this identity has been expressed over the years, and we are reminded of the richness and diversity of the African experience.