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!Kauru African Contemporary Art Touring project is hosting a Round Table Discussion on the 12 July 2013 at 10h00 -16h00 at the Turbine Hall in Newtown Johannesburg. Key stakeholders have been invited to discuss the future of this project, and the Round Table is also open to interested parties to attend. Delegates include: Karabo Kgoleng, Tshepiso Mohlala, Zodwa Mpanza and also representatives from Brand South Africa, Gauteng Tourism, Department of Art and Culture, Department of International Relations and Cooperation-SA.


The !Kauru African Contemporary Art project aims to promote conversations in Africa and internationally that change perceptions of the continent through contemporary art. The project was launched in 2012 at the Sandton Art Gallery. Targeting artists from the SADC region. Last year’s exhibition entitled MADE IN AFRICA TOWARDS CULTURAL LIBERATION was curated by Andile Magengelele in conversation with Nontobeko Ntobela. This year’s exhibition was entitled Cultural Brokerage, Africa Imagined Act 1 is curated by Melissa Goba in collaboration with Euridice Kala once again focusing on the SADC region.

Says Project Director, Tshepiso Mohala, “As this year’s leg of the project comes to an end, we acknowledge our necessity to identify and expand on the !Kauru project stakeholders and potential partners. According to our present position, we understand that the project should not exist in isolation from key roleplayers that could possibly strengthen !Kauru portfolio.” The Round Table follows on from a series of artist’s talks and workshops that have explored the real logistical and pragmatic challenges facing the project in realizing its ambitious brief. As the key stakeholder, !Kauru is supported by the Department of Arts and Culture (International Relations Department) and seeks to instill and increase Inter Africa, Caribbean and Diaspora arts and culture activities between civil society, government and the private sector. This is achieved through collaboration in various capacities between sponsors, state organizations and civil society in realizing the project’s vision.

!Kauru’s aim is to provide a platform for African contemporary artists and cultural practioners to engage around a showcase of contemporary art from the continent that will travel to various locations. The strategic plan aims to incorporate all the regions of Africa over the lifespan of the project, and began in 2012 with the SADC region which is once again the focus for the 2013 project season. The project grew out of Mohala’s own experiences that the of the appreciation of Contemporary African Art is far more advanced internationally than it is on the African continent. “Our contemporary art is amoung some of the best in the world, despite the lack maturity of the many of the art markets in African countries. We need to foster and understanding and appreciation of our own art to grow this significant part of our economy. The appetite and interest is there but it will not come without strident interventions that address the practicalities of the role of art in society. Art is not only a critical part of any growing economy, providing many opportunities for work and self-employment, but a barometer and reflection of how we see ourselves and each other. As African’s we need to promote conversations that allow us to explore our sameness and our differences in constructive ways. Otherwise they will find expression in ways that destroy the fabric of our communities, such as xenophobia and persecution.”

The project aims to sensitize and mobilize South African/African audiences and media to appreciate African contemporary visual arts. Art is seen as a way to promote inter Africa /Diaspora cultural exchange in a direct and meaningful way while creating a network and visibility for artists, artists promoters and institutions to future promote the sustainability of the sector. The project interventions include (but are not limited to) a travelling museum exhibition, and allied skills, educational, academic and audience programmes.

“In African dialogue is a good idea in concept, ” says Mohala, ” but practically, artists, their works and the audiences need to be able to connect with and talk to one another, and in order to do this, they need to be quite literally to be in same place- whether this involves bringing the art to the people or the people to the art, both pose a number of challenges that we cannot overcome without a broad network of support.”

The artist’s discussions held of the 25th May 2013 involved cultural officials, curators and artists from the SADC region: Samuel Amunkete (NAM), Henrique Calisto (MOZ), Benjamin Sabby (ANG), Edestino Mondlane (Madaulane) (MOZ), Fransisco van Dunen (ANG), Danny Sopha (SEY), Vivienne Gonzalves (SEY), Safina Kimbokota (TAN), Precious Mhone (MAL), Krishna Luchoomun (MAU), Maimuna Adam (MOZ), Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum (BOTS), Dineo Bopape (ZA), Joao Orecchia (ZA), Ruth Sacks (ZA), Kudzanai Chiurai (ZIM), Nastio Mosquito (under the collaboration Bofa De Cara) (ANG) and Gerald Machona (ZIM).

Key issues that were raised from the artists’ discussion on the 25th of May (Africa Day) that will be addressed at the Round Table are
• The visual arts sector’ sustainability (creating a much more viable environment for artists to practice and creating new audiences);
• Intra Africa Trade;
• Transportation of artworks within the continent;
• Artist travelling around the continent;
• Marketing and sponsorship of cultural production.

The Round Table will attempt to move the project’s mandate forward by identifying a key set of actions and resolutions that the stakeholders will adopt to operationlise the next phase. A position paper will be released at the close of this session that will form the mandate of partner organisations going forward. BacktoBack Advertising are the project managers under the guidance of !Kauru Director Tshepiso Mohala.

Please RSVP by 11 July 2013

For more information please contact:

Tshepiso Mohlala
084 667 6416

Maria Fidel Regueros
Curator: Exhibition Logistics
!KAURU Visual Arts Exhibition: Cultural Brokerage: Africa Imagined Act 1
24 May – 30 June 2013, Pretoria Art Museum
Cell: +27(82)3736127, mariafidelrequeros@gmail.com

Venue: Turbine Hall 
65 Ntemi Piliso
Newtown, Johannesburg
Tel: 087 3103888

A Collaboration between Department of Arts and Culture international Relations and BACK2BACK

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For media enquiries:
Nkosingiphile Khumalo
011 447 2855

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