African Masculinities: A Visual and Intellectual Critique of Masculinities in Contemporary Africa
02 March 2019, 14h00
KZNSA invites you to join us for an afternoon of critical dialogue and discussion with panelists Professor Rozena Maart (UKZN – Gender Studies), Jackie Shandu (Independent political analyst and former UKZN postgrad student) and Themba Shibase ( DUT - Fine Art, Phd candidate, UKZN and exhibiting artist).
The seminar forms part of the public education programme accompanying Themba Shibase’s Push & Pull, currently on show at the KZNSA. The title of the seminar draws attention to what constitutes a pivotal point of the exhibition: a critical look at notions of African masculinities in a fast modernizing contemporary Africa, but largely focusing on the South African socio-economic and cultural contexts. The focus on South Africa more than the rest of Africa is purely informed by the fact that the former is the primary socio-cultural setting for Shibase as the artist behind the exhibition, as well as for the two other panellists in terms of their own personal theoretical work. As such, their individual South African experiences generally serve as an important point of departure when engaging on the above topic. However, this does not necessarily mean that the discussions will be limited to the context of South Africa and Africa only. The relevance of the topic at a global stage will form part of the engagement, as already evident in the content of some of the works on show.
Since the above themes are being engaged in a context of visual arts, as opposed to a conventional gender discourse context, it goes without saying that the ‘image’ as a signifier of implicit or connoted meaning will be an important point of departure from which the panellists will critically engage on the subject of contemporary African masculinities. Another important theme that relates to the ‘image’ which will inevitably be interrogated by the panellists pertains to the question of re-presentation. No doubt, one of the most complex theoretical questions faced by many cultural producers in such art forms as literature, fine arts, theatre and film since the emergence of feminism and de-colonial theory has been: who has the right to represent who? This question arguably forms the basis of what today is generally referred to as politics of re-presentation. Critical examination of this question will also form an important part of the panel discussion in some form.