Art takes centre stage

2019-09-03 06:01
Guests listen attentively as speakers delivered informative speeches at the Great Talk event in Woodstock. UCT alumni and arts curator, Nkule Mabaso was a guest speaker.

Guests listen attentively as speakers delivered informative speeches at the Great Talk event in Woodstock. UCT alumni and arts curator, Nkule Mabaso was a guest speaker.

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About 50 patrons recently gathered at the Greatmore studios for this year’s annual Great Talk event.

Themed “The stronger we become”, the talk focussed on the role of art in South Africa. As part of the talk, experts on certain topics are invited to share ideas focussing on topics within the national and international arts and culture spectrum.

This year’s event was held on Thursday 15 August.

Damien Buckton, Greatmore spokesperson, says the speakers tackled difficult questions about land, displacement and mobility, this year.

Nomusa Makhubu from the University of Cape Town, one of the speakers, added that the topic illustrates the South African pavilion focusing on the disillusionment of the post-1994 era.

She says it is crucial to speak openly about these topics, to educate each other.

“With rising social unrest, protests, and social movements, South Africans are compelled to look back at our unforgiving history and look at ourselves.

“Faced with retribution in the moment of our retrospection and introspection, we are immersed in the contradictions of contemporary life,” says Makhubu.

She says South Africans are navigating globally entangled, racially-defined, socio-economic issues which require “resilience and resistance” from the citizens.

Makhubu spoke about the work on display at the studio, saying the three artists, Mawande Ka Zanzile, Dineo Seshee, ? Can you elaborate please Bopape and Tracey Rose pose critical questions about human dignity, knowledge and power, loss and displacement.

“We are experiencing a change in global politics, as the world seems to become more conservative, more localist. In this spatio-temporal fix, we look back at the impact that previous policies have on our present and futures and uncover the sense of global nihilism,” Makhubu says.

She says they enjoyed working on the exhibition despite the limited time they had to put everything together.

They had two months to put the exhibition together “so it was exhilarating but not without its challenges.”

With the talk taking place during Women’s Month, Makhubu reminded guests that women are, and have always been, influential. “Historically, they have been leaders of matriarchal societies and have been politically organised against injustice. Today they continue to do so,” she says.

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