LagosPhoto
Festival 2018

Welcome

Oct 27 -
Nov 15 2018

InstagramYouTube

AFRICADIA

Siwa Mgoboza explores notions of difference and belonging as informed by his personal experiences of prejudice and assimilation. Leaving South Africa as a child, growing up abroad and subsequently returning as a young man, Mgoboza was profoundly struck by the difference between his expectations and childhood memories of an egalitarian South Africa and its stark reality.

In response to this, Mgoboza has created Africadia, an imagined parallel dimension wherein Africa is reconceptualised as a pastoral Arcadia (referring both to the Greek myth and the Renaissance-era art which was inspired by it) in which humanity and nature thrive in harmonious coexistence. This space is envisaged as an escape from prejudice based on preconceived notions of gender, race, religion, class, nationality and the various incarnations of patriarchal heteronormativity which burden Africa and Africans. Instead, Africadia is an alternative, hybrid space of shifting identities operating outside of oppressive binary dualisms.

Through fusing with animals and nature, Mgoboza’s Africadians no longer identify as human beings but rather simply as beings. They have forgone social constructs about gender, race, sexuality and religion, and instead exist in a fluid, rhizomatic state where judgment of others is rendered superfluous. Africadia represents an alternative space where – in Mgoboza’s words – “we stop talking about the ‘other’ and start talking to one another.”

Mgoboza’s works are simultaneously bright, carnivalesque and excessive while also being highly ordered according to repetition and pattern. In creating the hybrid inhabitants and landscapes of the Africadian dimension, Mgoboza has drawn on his Hlubi heritage by incorporating bright and densely patterned Ishweshwe cloth into his photographic, sculptural and textile work.

Isishweshwe is a symbol embedded with the ethos of Africadia; of cultural interchanges across continents, of indigenization and cultural revitalization. Traditionally worn by woman, it is immediately recognizable as ‘African’, but on closer investigation has truly global roots having arrived in Southern Africa from India via Dutch trade routes in the mid-1600s. When introduced to Southern Africa by German settlers in the mid-1800s, it became widely embraced by Xhosa women in the Eastern Cape. As such it emerges out of South Africa’s colonial history as a pervasive signifier of cultural self-determination.

By subverting both geographical and gender specific assumptions, Mgoboza opens up alternative readings of what it is to be an Africadian. In this sense, to return to Africadia (as the exhibition title suggests) means to return to a true conception of self, free from oppressive and divisive constructs. The ideological dimension of Africadia encourages the embracing of a utopia defined by equality, unity, human rights and shared potential; a return to the (lost) optimism surrounding the promises of post-apartheid South Africa made to Mgoboza’s generation.

BIO

Siwa Mgoboza (born 1993) graduated with a BFA cum laude from the Michaelis School Fine Art in 2015. Recent exhibitions include Claims of the Land at the AVA, Cape Town; New Monuments at Commune I Gallery, Cape Town; Future Present at the Barnard Gallery, Cape Town; Nothing Personal, Smac Gallery, Cape Town and Sasol New Signatures, Pretoria Art Museum. Mgoboza’s work will be included in the upcoming exhibition Historicode: Scarcity and Supply at the 3rd Nanjing International Arts Festival, Nanjing China.

Mgoboza has been shortlisted for the Sasol New Signatures Award 2015, the SA Taxi Awards, 2016 and Barclay’s L’Atelier Western Cape, 2016. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Eduard Louis Laden Art Bursary and the Cecil Skotnes Award for most promising artist. Mgoboza’s work is included in numerous private and public collections including The Wedge Collection, The University of Cape Town, the University of South Africa and the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, USA.

He Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

Share +
Other Exhibitors
The Market Photo Workshop Image

The Market Photo Workshop

LagosPhoto is delighted to partner with The Market Photo Workshop to present the work of three emerging South African photographers celebrating pan Af...

Naija Gems Image

Naija Gems

Naija Gems, a travelling photography exhibition created by the US Consulate General showcasing intriguing images capturing Nigerian natural beauty.&nb...

Ebunoluwa Akinbo Image

Ebunoluwa Akinbo

LagosPhoto is please to partner with the Fashola Photographic Foundation to showcase a body of work titled “What Lies Beneath” shot by the...

Ditaola XI, 2014 Image

Ditaola XI, 2014

Mohau Modisakeng’s work responds to the issue of violence and the role it plays and continues to play in colonial, as well as postcolonial Afric...

The Raft of Medusa Saint Louis Image

The Raft of Medusa Saint Louis

 BIO   Adad Hannah was born in New York in 1971, spent his childhood in Israel and England, and moved to Vancouver in the early 1980&r...

The Ghetto Tarot Image

The Ghetto Tarot

    The Ghetto Tarot is a photographic interpretation of the well-known traditional Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck. Set in the Haitian ...

EACH PASSING DAY OPENING RECEPTION Image

EACH PASSING DAY OPENING RECEPTION

A Retrospective Exhibition on a 15-year Career in Photojournalism Covering Youth and Women Empowerment, Education, Street Economics and the Rapidly Tr...

POPCAP 14 (Project) Image

POPCAP 14 (Project)

The international photography competition POPCAP is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 edition. The award aims to foster interest&n...

Fondation Zinsou (Project) Image

Fondation Zinsou (Project)

Outdoor images of Jean-Dominique Burton titled The Hunters from Foundation Zinsou will be on display at Muri Okunola Park. ...

Turn It Up! Image

Turn It Up!

In the series, Turn It Up!, photographer Jide Odukoya aims to shift the focus from the poverty porn fed by the media, to some of the country’s m...

Invasive Species Image

Invasive Species

Invasive Species is a series produced in 1996 by Cape Town photographer Dillon Marsh. It explores the relationship between the environment and the dis...

I am 14 Image

I am 14

Winner of the the 2014 'Bourse du Talent' Favourite Creation Awards at the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand in Paris, I am 14 is a stage...

‘When light shines in the dark, the darkness is uncomprehending’ Image

‘When light shines in the dark, the darkness is uncomprehending’

As a result of the construction of an alternative electricity network in addition to the existing but over stretched existing Power Holding Company Ni...

Red Gold	 Image

Red Gold

Bayo Omoboriowo’s series features images of local manufacturers of Red Gold (palm oil) whom the government supports and promotes in an effort to...

Nigerian Punishments	 Image

Nigerian Punishments

In Nigerian Punishments, Seun Akisanmi stages himself in a performance series, reenacting some of the most common punishments he received growing up, ...

Cathedral Cars Image

Cathedral Cars

French multimedia artist Thomas Mailaender captures portraits of vehicles of all shapes and sizes, sporting excess quantities of luggage, junk and mat...

Tristes Tropiques: Illustrations hors texte Image

Tristes Tropiques: Illustrations hors texte

In Tristes Tropiques: Illustrations hors texte, Laurence Aëgerter, in collaboration with Ronald van Tienhoven, features images, which are a facsi...

Egungun  Image

Egungun

Ade Adekola’s series explores the Egungun and its significance within Yoruba culture. He adapts an age-old symbol to engage with a global, moder...

The Table of Power 2  Image

The Table of Power 2

In late 2007, with the start of the Great Recession, the economic situation in the world changed dramatically. The largest financial service companies...

Untitled  Image

Untitled

Lagos, the commercial capital of the country, is a city of over ten million people where competition for space is a daily struggle and extends from ac...

Material Culture  Image

Material Culture

The Fulani mud hut story is one of material culture. It is a connection between the settlers and the way they live with the objects around them. Almos...

I Am Walé Respect Me Image

I Am Walé Respect Me

Patrick Willocq’s recent projects explore non-western narratives and mise-en-scenes in collaboration with local communities in the Democratic Re...

State of the Nation  Image

State of the Nation

In Kudzanai Chiurai’s State of the Nation, the notion of “state” is explored as a utopia and an action, a state of mind as well as a...

The Affogbolos  Image

The Affogbolos

Remi in Paradise and Remi in the wild are both part of the series The Affogbolos, which will be introduced in London in 2014 as part of the African Re...

Oikonomos Image

Oikonomos

In the series Oikonomos, Edson Chagas photographs himself posing with various plastic bags covering his head. These bags derive from mass-produced con...

Deconstructing She Image

Deconstructing She

Adama Delphine Fawundu seeks to explore the manifestations of post-colonial and post-Trans Atlantic Slave Trade identities. Her recent project Deconst...

Long Live the Dead Queen Image

Long Live the Dead Queen

In Long Live the Dead Queen, Mary Sibande creates a series of fantasies and imagined narratives focusing on a fictional character named Sophie, a dome...

arrière-tête (mécanismes) Image

arrière-tête (mécanismes)

Born in 1986 in Switzerland, Augustin Rebetez works in photography, stop-motion video, painting, writing, and installation, often collaborating with p...

This is What Hatred Did  Image

This is What Hatred Did

In the 1960s, a five year old Nigerian child’s village was attacked by soldiers. His mother had left him home alone and he had to run away, esca...

Cocktail Image

Cocktail

In her series Cocktail, Namsa Leuba infuses fashion and portraiture to comment on the representation of the female body in Africa today. The images ar...

Imagine destroying and remaking \

Imagine destroying and remaking \'Out of Africa\'

1985In 1985 the Ethiopian famine, which claimed hundreds and thousands of lives, was the first time that international journalists broadcast live TV i...

New Ways of Photographing the New Massai  Image

New Ways of Photographing the New Massai

Jan Hoek’s project questions the modes of photographic representation of ethnic groups in Africa within a colonialist and exoticising framework ...

Tales from the World  Image

Tales from the World

Nicolas Henry’s Tales from the World incorporates staged photography and theatrical techniques to create large-scale productions with various pr...

Just do it in blue (2006) and Y bandana veil in green (2006) Image

Just do it in blue (2006) and Y bandana veil in green (2006)

Hassan Hajjaj’s photographic practice celebrates the popular visual culture of the Moroccan market and its integrated role as a social space for...

Sin is a Puppy That Follows You Home: Romance Novelists in Northern Nigeria  Image

Sin is a Puppy That Follows You Home: Romance Novelists in Northern Nigeria

If a man offers you flowers, money, or meat, always choose meat, my friend Rabi tells me. She’s one of several dozen popular romance novelists l...

Humanae Image

Humanae

In the ongoing project Humanae, Angélica Dass creates a chromatic inventory of images that highlight the range of different human skin colours....

El Blanco Image

El Blanco

The series El Blanco explores pre-conceived representations of Africa by the West and the superficial nature of the gaze of the traveler in an unfamil...

Love Radio Image

Love Radio

Love Radio is a transmedia documentary about the process of reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda. Using the popular radio soap opera Musekeweya (&ld...

The Masked Woman  Image

The Masked Woman

The Masked Woman is a self-portrait series that explores representation of gender in Nigerian society through a performative lens. It attempts to aver...

Medicine Man: I’ll Take Care of You Image

Medicine Man: I’ll Take Care of You

Pregabalin 150mg, OxyNorm 10mg, Pregabalin 100mg, Sodium Docusate 100mg, Pregabalin 75mg, OxyContin 80mg, Gliclazide 80mg,OxyContin 20mg, Omeprazole 2...

One Day I\

One Day I\'m Gonna Make It

In the summer of 2012, Karine Versluis travelled to Lagos where she met a number of young women who had come from Eastern Nigeria to Lagos to start a ...

Umbra, Axiom Chapter  Image

Umbra, Axiom Chapter

Umbra delves into the world of shadows, a darkness that is seductive and deceptive. A darkness that lies in every human soul, as a still black lake wi...