DISTURBING THE STEREOTYPES Kwaai Exhibition 2020 Eclectica Contemporary
eclecticacontemporary.co.za By Nadia Kamies
Above: UKS, Cans, spray paint on spray paint cans, dimensions vary Opposite Page: Jared Leite, Sides Of Youth, 2020, Digital collage on Fabriano, 29.7 x 42 cm
rt goes beyond mere entertainment – it is an ancient way of expressing who we are and what we stand for that goes back to the first time that humans left their marks on the walls of caves or fashioned forms out of the earth. Art captures and expresses different ways of living and being, both challenging and negating attempts to fix certain stereotypes. That people labelled ‘coloured’ through apartheid social engineering have been excelling in art, sports, music, academics (in fact, in every arena possible) throughout our history, is nothing new. What is of note is that almost three decades after the first democratic elections, we have yet to rid ourselves of the negative stereotypes associated with this labelling.
Apartheid policy has its roots in racial slavery, the violent process of othering, that ultimately led to the dehumanisation of people based on the colour of their skin. During apartheid the oppressive regime attempted to silence people, and art became a weapon for political expression, reflecting the injustices and repressive nature of the times. In spite of museums and galleries actively preventing participation by people of colour, they were able to communicate and express the injustices of the day, telling the stories that the world needed to hear. Their work so disrupted and threatened the apartheid hegemony that many were arrested, banned, or forced into exile. British-Jamaican sociologist and cultural theorist, Stuart Hall, urged ordinary people to regain control of an image-dominated world
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