News & events


Remembering Marikana and the youth of 1976

16 June 2023
Remembering Marikana and the youth of 1976

Join us for a one day exhibition: Uncut and Uncensored – Marikana’s Memory: The Brush is Mightier than the Bullet.

Remembering Marikana and the youth of 1976.

Building upon the history of research and solidarity undertaken with the men and women of Marikana over the last decade, partnerships have formed across universities in South Africa including between the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) as we move towards a national annual lecture at higher education institutions that commemorates the Marikana massacre on 16 August. We plan to host an inaugural Open Studio: Art and Dialogue Intervention at UJ, which is spearheaded by the Human Sciences Research Council and UJ’s Sociology department.

The Open Studio: Art and Dialogue Intervention is a 4-6 week residency focussed on challenging Western and ivory tower or elite forms of knowledge production which tend to extract from indigenous people. In conversation and in interaction with students and faculty at UJ as well as with the people of Marikana and Thembelihle communities, we aim to construct the lived experience of the people of Marikana through artwork, film and dialogue, in order to demonstrate what decolonisation means in both theory and in practice.

The project calls for a return to the idea of the public African university and argues that the decolonial approach must be located within the everyday lived experiences of the oppressed.

During the intervention, Mabulu will be creating a new body of work. Mabulu, Benya and Desai’s contributions will be documented and form part of an online publication. Mabulu draws on personal experience, memory, and Xhosa folklore to confront and articulate hidden and complex forms of knowledge about the violence embedded within racial capitalism as this relates to the Marikana massacre. He illustrates how racial violence dehumanizes, traumatizes and situates Black mxn, womxn and non-binary people in a perpetual state of abject misery. A self-taught artist and oral historian, the layers and entanglements explored in Mabulu’s work provide fertile grounds for critical dialogue and new insights regarding the contemporary political social context.

There will be a strong focus on the application of art and research to challenge gender inequality (in mining) and we believe that the events will form part of HSRC and UJ’s contribution towards the UNSDGs – specifically goal 5 which seeks to empower women and promote gender equality.

Concept note – One day Exhibition