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21 June 2023

Remembering Marikana and the youth of 1976: a dialogue and exhibition

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Human Sciences Research Council

Pretoria, Thursday, 15 June 2023 –As part of our National Youth Day commemorations on 16 June, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in partnership with the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the Everard Read Art Gallery, and Space Mecca Studios will host a dialogue and exhibition to remember those who died or lost loved ones during two of the most violent events in South Africa’s history: the 1976 Youth Uprising in South Africa and the 2012 Marikana Massacre.

The event, entitled Remembering Marikana and the youth of 1976 will be held at the UJ Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Bunting Road, on Friday, 16 June 2023 from 13h00.

The dialogue is part of the Open Studio: Art and Dialogue Intervention, spearheaded by the HSRC and UJ’s Sociology department between May and June 2023. The project is focused on challenging Western and ivory tower or elite forms of knowledge production, which tend to extract from indigenous people.

Through conversations and interaction with students, members of the art faculty, and the communities of Marikana and Thembelihle, the project aims to construct the lived experiences of the people of Marikana through artwork, film and dialogue to demonstrate the meaning of decolonisation in both theory and practice.

Remembering Marikana and the youth of 1976 will feature broadcaster and producer Brenda Sisane in conversation with internationally acclaimed visual artist Ayanda Mabulu. The panellists will include Prof Luke Sinwell, Dr Palesa Sekhejane, Dr Konosoang Sobane, Dr Mosa Phadi, Ms Gabsile Khanyile, Nqgapheli Mchunu and Vandam Skankulu.

Mabulu’s “Uncut and Uncensored: Concerning Violence” exhibition will take place in the same venue. The project calls for the return of 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 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 and the youth of 1976. He illustrates how racial violence dehumanises, traumatises, and situates black people and non-binary people in perpetual misery.

Students and youth from Marikana and Thembelihle will attend the event.


Details of the event

Date:                 16 June 2023

Time:                 13h00

Venue:              University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Bunting Road

For media enquiries:

Dr Lucky Ditaunyane, Cell: 0832276074, Email: Nematandani Cell: +27 82 765 9191 Email:

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Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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