Saturday, April 18, 2015


Research trip to the USA - March/April

The URL below, links to a Youtube video recorded at the The Sterling and Francine Clark Institute  on 9 April 2015. The presentation entitled After Math: An attempted analogy - What (post-race) America can learn from (post-apartheid) South Africa and vice versa, concluded a 10 day series of talks delivered at various host institutions including Principia College, Williams College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.



A very special thank you to my sponsoring institution University of Johannesburg FADA, Jewellery Design and Manufacture Department, and all the host institutions -  especially The Clark Institute, and Principia College. 

More links:
Clark Art Events

Link related to exhibition:
Four woundings and a sequal at Principia College

Johannesburg Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - May 

"#JP2015 is a Programme of Contemporary African Film and Performance Art that will stage an Intervention in the city during the 56th Venice Biennale 2015." Right of Admission will be one of the performative interventions featuring during the Bienalle. Refer to the links below for more information. For further reading follow the following links: 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Right of Admission - Let the show begin!!!

Right of Admission 

(Johannesburg, October 2014)

In a series of performative actions the artists Farieda Nazier and Alberta Whittle will contest the visible and invisible boundaries in Johannesburg. Using the physicality of the body and its appearance as markers for access, this performance functions as an intervention intended to challenge the “accepted narrative, which insists on an economic and social hierarchy of aspiration.”

(ROOM Press release September 2014)

CLICK on the links below and our TUMBLR site to view documentation of the four part performative intervention.

Right of Admission preparation

Album by Alberta Whittle 

PART 1: Classification and Pencil Test
Friday, 3 October 2014 

Album by Alberta Whittle 
Images Dean Hutton

PART 2: The platting
Saturday, 4 October 2014 

Album by Farieda Nazier 
Images Farieda Nazier and Alberta Whittle 

PART 3: Sandton 
Friday, 10 October 2014 @ 12:00

Album by Farieda Nazier
Images Farieda Nazier and Alberta Whittle 

Part 4: Unravelling
Friday, 10 October 2014 @ 17:00

Album by Farieda Nazier 
Images: Dean Hutton 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

RIGHT of ADMISSION - Follow us!

Right of Admission

Opening Reception & Performance (part 1):

 Friday, 3 October 2014 from 16h30

Performance (part 2):

 Saturday, 4 October 2014 from 10h00 - 16h00

Performance (part 3)- Capet Series Episode # 5:

Friday, 10.10.2014, from 16h30 

Performance & Closing Party (part 4): 

Saturday, 11 October 2014 from 10h00 - 16h00

"Ariving at Sandton City, we will be attired in full glamour regalia to begin the intervention. 
We will perform a series of “selfies” at key places within the shopping centres: in front of the statue of Nelson Mandela, posing in boutiques, consuming expensive coffees, trying clothing and accessories. These “selfies” will be posted on tumblr and twitter as  we intervene into the signifiers of success and excess embedded within the idea of what Sandton City symbolises for South Africans."
Whittle and Nazier 




Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Work - Right of Admission


A three part performance by Farieda Nazier and Alberta Whittle 

4 - 11 October 2014
opening: 3 October, 16h30

Space #3,
70 Juta Street, Braamfontein 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Commemorating 20 Years of Democracy: A different dialogue

I will be presenting a paper entitled 
Between four sprung springs, a crime scene, red-mugabe and a horde of four fives: 
A critical retrospective of the Tension Torsion: 20 Years On exhibition
  at the Msunduzi Museum conference which will be hosted by 
Msunduzi Museum in Pietermaritzburg. Below, find an open invitation to attend. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Arts of Human Rights at WISER

You are invited to attend The Arts of Human Rights workshop hosted by WISER, where I will be presenting a paper entitled:
Beyond the After Math: (Re)negotiating race, memory and consequence -  alongside a number of incredible colleagues who hail from a range of disciplines.   

Friday, July 11, 2014

Emerging Arts Activist presents- Futurespectives: 10 years from Now exhibition

The Emerging Arts Activist program, through dialogic approaches and a range of art production methods, aims to instill critical thinking skills and agency in South African youth towards a conscientising end.

This year's jam packed 3.5 day program, launched on Monday 7 July, resulted in eleven amazing handcrafted collage posters by our talented aspiring activists who hail from New Nations School (Fietas), Ennerdale Secondary School (Ennerdale) and Phefeni Secondary School (Soweto). Each poster explored the personal perspectives of the activists, and sought to position their life experiences in post-apartheid discourse by exploring themes of race, place and class and how these persist in the present. Some of the areas explored included the growing potential for future race-based conflict, educational transformation, rising crime rates and unemployment, and over-population in our cities.

Futurespectives: 10 years from Now exhibition 

Join us at the APARTHEID MUSEUM on 17 July at 18.30,
 to celebrate the creative insights of our youth and to commemorate the youth of the past who fought for South Africa's freedom.

The project would like to thank the
for their generous sponsorship and ongoing support.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Work: In place of Space

In Place of Space, was a site specific work, exhibited at the Apartheid Archive Conference 2014 entitled Race, Place, Location, Dislocation: Then and Now. The conference was hosted by the University of Pretoria from 21 May to 23 May.

The apartheid legacy of forced removals and displacement has had long standing effects on the individual and social morale of South Africans. Besides for the perpetuated economic and political injustice, there remain psychological consequences related to the loss of financial, emotional, historical and cultural capital. The Group Areas Act of 1950, was the beginning of a number of segregation acts intended to control, divide and segregate South Africans along racial and ethnic lines. The implementation of these acts comprised a massive forced removal and demolition strategy which dislocated millions of non-whites as well as whites. 

The exhibition entitled ‘In place of space’ is a show of fetishised utilitarian objects accumulated by evictees of the apartheid regime’s mass displacement project during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. The theme explores the idea of home, loss and longing and the emotional trajectories of the disenfranchised within the apartheid and post-apartheid settings. The exhibition addresses this theme by visually representing ‘replacement’ or ‘transitional objects’, furniture, cutlery, implements etc. transferred from family homes in target areas to displaced dwellings in the townships or locations. The numerous losses encountered during forced relocations often render such objects, which become souvenirs of the space, precious or reliquary. ‘In place of space’ aims to elicit narrative interpretations in viewers that begin to explore the internal and physical tensions and struggles that may be encountered in the internalisation of displacement.

'In place of Space'
Antique table & Cement
Site specific installation
20 May 2014

A special thanks to the Apartheid Archive Project organisers - 
Prof. Norman Duncan, Prof. Garth Stevens, Marinda Maree, Hugo Canham- for an excellent platform.

Monday, May 5, 2014

"Beyond the ‘After Math’" article published in Critical Arts

Beyond the ‘After Math’: exploring psychological decolonisation in a post-apartheid context of artistic praxis
Farieda Nazier, 199-215
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2014.906340


This article argues that recontextualising applicable theories of Frantz Fanon through knowledge-seeking art practices can contribute to the ‘decolonisation of the mind’ in a contemporary South African context. The multimodal social intervention, entitled ‘After Math: An Exploration of Temporality, Wounding and Consequence’, hosted by the Apartheid Museum in August 2012 (principal artist and curator Farieda Nazier), is discussed and analysed. The exhibition and this retrospective article are grounded in Nazier's explorations and subsequent application of Fanonian theories and broader postcolonial postulations of place, gender and class. The intervention borrows from Fanon's theories and phenomenological approach to racial discrimination, using them as a point of departure to evoke memory and convey personal struggles within an apartheid and post-apartheid society through a number of visual and embodied modalities.

Taylor & Francis Online - The new journals and reference work platform for Taylor & Francis
The online platform for Taylor & Francis Online content
Critical Arts, Vol. 28, No. 2, 04 Mar 2014 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

This new issue contains the following articles:

It begins with you? An ubuntu-centred critique of a social marketing campaign on HIV and AIDS
Colin Chasi & Nadira Omarjee,  229-246
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2014.906342

The reinvention of Hollywood's classic white saviour tale in contemporary Chinese cinema: Pavilion of Women and The Flowers of War
Jing Yang, 247-263
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2014.906343

Criticising images: critical discourse analysis of visual semiosis in picture ns
Jiayu Wang, 264-286
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2014.906344

Voice, alienation and the struggle to be heard: a case study of community radio programming in South Africa

Stanley Tsarwe, 287-310
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2014.906345

Under fire

Under fire from all sides: a paraliterary exegesis
Jessica Webster, 311-312
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2014.906346

Book review

Breaking the silence: South African representations of HIV/AIDS
Verena Jain-Warden, 313-316
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2014.906347


Stuart Hall

Keyan Tomaselli & Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, 317-318
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2014.906348
Submission Guidelines:

Submissions should be made online via ScholarOne Manuscripts at (in cases where internet connectivity is not conducive to a ScholarOne submission, we will still accept manuscripts submitted via email to the Critical Arts office. Send to Verona Sathiyah at and/or editor-in-chief, Keyan Tomaselli, at Submissions should be original works not simultaneously submitted elsewhere, between 5000 to 7000 words in length. Referencing should be done according to the Chicago manual of style.

Indexes listing Critical Arts:
Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) [ISI ranked]; Arts and Humanities Citation Index; Alternative Press Index; ARTBibliographies Modern; British Humanities Index; Film Literature Index; Humanities International Index; Index to South African Periodicals; International Bibliography of Social Sciences; International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance; Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts; M L A International Bibliography; Periodicals Index Online; R I L M Abstracts of Music Literature

Critical Arts URLS

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Opening Remarks by Garth Stevens: Tension Torsion: 20 Years On

Opening Remarks 

at the Tension Torsion: 20 Years On group art exhibition of new works 
by Farieda Nazier, Gordon Froud, Avitha Sooful and Oupa V. Mokwena - 
curated by Farieda Nazier, 
Ithuba Art Gallery, 
100 Juta Street, 
Johannesburg, South Africa.

Prof. Garth Stevens (Assistant Dean: Humanities Research)
Department of Psychology, School of Human & Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand

Thank you Farieda, Gordon, Avitha and Oupa, for inviting me to make a few remarks at the opening of your exhibition this evening.

I am here this evening not as an artist, but as a social scientist whose work intersects with much of what you see here tonight, and that work is located in an initiative called the Apartheid Archive Project – a project that explores the enduring effects of our racialised past on contemporary South Africa, but through the lens of the everyday, the ordinary and the quotidian.

When I saw the exhibition title, I immediately thought that this was such an apt description of the complex and often contradictory effects of our past and the ways in which we are trying to live with and through this legacy in the current period. This period is of course one that is marked by racialised flashpoints in higher education, in communities in which the threat of xenophobic or Afrophobic violence looms large, and in the everyday mutations of racialised social interactions; by service delivery protests; by rolling strikes in the mining sector across the Platinum Belt; by growing inequality between the wealthiest and poorest sectors of South Africa; by violence that has become endemic; by recalcitrant forms of gender discrimination; and by reduced confidence in the structures of governance in South Africa. But to mention only this would be Afro-pessimistic at least, and so we have to recognise the increased access to basic services since 1994, genuine attempts at community integration, changing subjectivities, and the emergence of a new layer of youth who are relatively untainted by the explicit and overt institutional manifestations of racism and racialisation.

This is therefore a timely exhibition that contributes to us reflecting on the gains and challenges facing South African society some 20 years after our transition to an enfranchised, democratic dispensation, but it is also a time of reckoning for the political leadership and for ordinary South Africans, the latter who have perhaps too easily relinquished and ceded the rights of citizens in the face of this new found freedom.

And so the question that arises is:  How do we live with and through this legacy, or stated differently, how do we ‘do’ or perform freedom today? The answer of course is simple: in complicated ways! There are no doubt tensions and distortions associated with this past in South Africa today, but there are also genuine attempts at rapprochement and refiguring South African society, as illustrations of this complicatedness.

Over the last 20 years, the discourse of reconciliation has perhaps become such a lofty ideal that it has in many ways become a free-floating signifier that now encapsulates so many meanings, interests and agendas, that it is hard to discern what we actually mean by it, let alone how to attain it. Perhaps the idea of entanglement as spoken about by writers such as Mbembe, Nuttall and Straker is one way to think about this complicated present. Entanglement refers to the complex ways in which our histories, our past and present, our subjectivities, and indeed our lives, are so intertwined that that disentanglement leading to a ‘clean slate’ amongst South Africans is perhaps not possible, nor necessarily desirable. As an entry point into the complicated nature of our present, maybe an acknowledgement of these complex relationships, leading to an understanding and mutual recognition, is perhaps a less lofty ideal to pursue, as it compels us to not only live with this complexity, but also to recognise that this complexity is not necessarily only a problem but also has a range of future possibilities. It can indeed open up moments of dialogue, intercommunal spaces of participation, alternative subjectivities, and also the possibilities of a critically engaged citizenry, who if necessary, may act in insurgent ways to hold those in power accountable.

Tension Torsion: 20 Years On offers one such space for promoting and provoking dialogue. As a social scientist, and not an artist, let me briefly add that in my humble view, art offers us a different medium through which to articulate, contest and express experiences in the world. It cuts across the intellectual, cultural, academic and public realms in ways that can often not be accomplished through the traditional, formal registers and formats associated with the academy today. The arts open up spaces for a performative social science that can promote a truly public-intellectual engagement, making it as important, if not more important to the project of cultural revitalisation and renewal that is central to the social transformation project.
So as you enjoy each other’s company, but most importantly the installations that are part of this exhibition tonight, I hope that you will be provoked into dialogue about the continued impact of our past on our present, the complexities and challenges of this present, but also the possibilities of a future that is yet to be imagined and is yet to unfold.
Thank you and congratulations to all of you.

Garth Stevens, 20/03/2014

Please follow the links to view latest publications
Edited by Garth Stevens, Norman Duncan and Derek Hook

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

(P)review - Tension Torsion: 20 Years On

An alternative reading 

Written by Alberta Whittle

'Bite the Bullet' by Avitha Sooful, ready for installation. 
Tension Torsion at the Ithuba Arts Gallery brings together a group of four South African artists, whose experiences growing up under Apartheid have compelled them to reflect on the issues that surround the concept of Democracy. The South African Government News Agency proclaims March 2014, Human Rights Month (1). Against this backdrop of celebration, a variety of questions arise,

How do we understand democracy today?

What does democracy mean in South Africa?

What is the legacy of the past 20 years?

Reflecting on this celebration of 20 years of Democracy in South Africa, Gordon Froud, Oupa Vusimusi Mokwena, Farieda Nazier and Avitha Sooful question the role and the mechanics of the distribution of power. Their work focuses on the social and political sound-bites and legends, which surround this celebration of Democracy and the deification of Mandela. Instead of passively accepting the sanitised version of events, which proclaim democracy as a completed action, the artists resist this accepted narrative.

Their works heft unwieldy themes of power, authorship, resistance and race, whilst utilising an unexpected sense of play. Political art is a serious business and these artists are serious. But there is something reminiscent of the funfair about this show. Employing the warped sense of perspective and scale found in the Hall of Mirrors of a traditional funfair, the artworks reveal alternative interpretations of a shared past. The construction of memories reveals a process of recollection, nostalgia and commemoration. Froud, Mokwena, Nazier and Sooful straddle different generations of South Africans whose knowledge of Apartheid draws from personal and collective memories, as well as accepted historical narratives urging us to question, Has freedom been achieved?

Human Rights Month is commemorated in March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. Human Rights Day on 21st March falls within this period. South Africa is regarded as a beacon of hope on the continent and internationally in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tension Torsion: 20 Years On Exhibition

Tension Torsion: 20 Years on

A group show curated by 
Farieda Nazier, with Gordon Froud, Avi Sooful and Oupa V Mokwena
20 March to 17 April 2014 
100 Juta Street, Braamfontein

The exhibition is a platform for the art works of a demographically diverse group of artists; Farieda Nazier, Gordon Froud, Avitha Sooful and Oupa V.Mokwena. Their comprehensive body of work considers the paradoxical readings of contentious socio-political themes as it unfolds within the vexed context of lived experiences over the last 20 years.

Nazier’s work 'Nag vannie lang latte', is a satirical take on the ironies and tensions that exist within the uhuru-mythology Nag van die lang messe. 'Bite the Bullet' by Sooful, is a ceramic installation of 19 larger-than-life spent bullet cartridges and 5 new bullets, which reflects the contested and violent legacies of the country.
Froud’s untitled art work, critiques the notions of tension and torsion in the controversial works of contemporary South African artists. Mokwena in his work entitled 'Our Gnomes', deconstructs the African Tokolosh mythology by positioning it within the domain of South African politics.

The intervention further engages in topical dialogue that resonates with the idea of Paulo Freire and Steve Bantu Biko’s praxis through a public educational programme. The themes for the public programme address criticality amongst South African youth that will be addressed in the Angry Youth Workshop supported by UJ CERT; running on 11 and 12 April 2014.

The project as a whole aims to raise important questions about the nation’s post-apartheid trajectory; in order to evoke critical dialogue in audiences around the discrimination-wounding-consequence theme. A broader objective of the project’s praxis element is to instill critical consciousness in marginalized and disenfranchised social groupings, contributing towards physical and mental liberation or decolonization.