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CULTURE Review

MAGAZINE

Articles written by Mbe Mbhele

Biko’s Wildest Nightmare

It is 2016, thick in the midst of student protests. A poster is taped onto a white wall inside the Wits School of Arts, and what draws my attention are the bold letters IPHUPHO L’KA BIKO. I am intrigued, and I want to see this band of students who have bravely decided to use Biko’s name in a university that hates Black people.

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Makhafula Vilakazi – The Gun That Shot Verwoed

It is this conversation that Makhafula Vilakazi invites us to in this year’s solo show titled Concerning Blacks. Perhaps even more than just a show, he invites us to a moment of self-reflection, where we are left with no choice but to confront ourselves and what we have become. In his work, Makhafula minces no words, pops open the rotten wound caused by ‘post’-apartheid deception.

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Returning to Kwa Mai Mai

‘You have issues with your woman and at night when you sleep you have back pains that you cannot ignore vumani bo’. I wonder which woman he is talking about, but I actually do have back pains, maybe it is just because of sitting on a chair for at least 9 hours a day trying to finish my novel.

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Koketso’s Defiant Blues

But let’s be blunt, for most of us liberation has become synonymous with the neatly trimmed lawns of Sandton, desires of walking the dog on the clean pavements of Bryanston all the while speaking English from the nasal. That is the kind of freedom we imagine, not the turning upside down of history.

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Drifting With Muntu Vilakazi: On The Archive

But I have seen it, glimpses of it. His images are a critical commentary on black youth culture and the church as an important aspect of black life. They are a close look at the ‘quotidian’ and the mundane of city/township life as an anecdote we can use to think about our condition.

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Future Nostalgia

Future Nostalgia is an interrogation of the deep entanglement between the past and the presence. It is a project that seems to reflect the symbology of the Sankofa bird which is a mythical bird that flies forward while looking backwards.

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Rich Black, Poor Black: The Precarious Life Of Black People

It matters not how far you have climbed the social and the economic ladder. If you are black your position there is always fraught with danger. Which is to say you can have the illusion that you are rich but that can change as quickly as Cape Town weather. The soccer stars that we grew up idolizing who seemed like they had made it are eating from the dustbins now.

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