Thursday, 26 April 2012

The A.R.T. show in Johannesburg, featuring a printed and embroidered version of the Keiskamma Guernica

Public Art Action: Just us at work

From USA Projects website:
"just us at work" is a 13-week public art action.
The art action will take place each weekday from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm in the entrance hall of the Amtsgericht, Frankfurtstra├če 9, Kassel, Germany from June 1 - Sept 10, 2012.
Lead artists include Deborah Doering, DOE Projekts, Chicago, USA and Veronica Betani and Cebo Mvubu, KAP (Keiskamma Art Project) Artists, Hamburg, South Africa.
Artists from both groups will use the forms of "zero and one" as a point of departure for creating art works by hand, including needle-worked images, stencil-cuttings, drawings and text works. 
"Our focus will be working with our hands in the Amtsgericht entrance hall," said Deborah Doering. 
"We will be using fabric, thread, yarn, beads, scissors, paper, synthetic paper, pencils, pens — materials generally seen as 'low tech' materials."
"Using these materials, we will create works that depict zero and one forms, and also forms that indicate movement between zeros and ones (tildes, swashes)."
"The zero and one represent the digital age in which we live and they are often associated with 'high-tech' contemporary culture."
"The art action 'just us at work' expresses tension, anomaly, and contradiction by using 'low-tech' materials to express 'high-tech' concept-based work, influenced and framed by the contemporary art dialogue."
" 'just us at work' allows DOE and KAP artists to connect, face-to-face, with no digital divide between us — using zeros and ones as the point of departure for works made from 'low-tech' materials, materials which are very accessible to viewers who might call themselves simply the 'art curious.' "
Click here to read more and view a video about this collaborative project.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (Australia)

This year, the Art Project is exhibiting at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival in Melbourne, from the 15th to the 27th of May.

This new Keiskamma Tapestry represents true parallel stories of two South African women who were both infected by their partner: a rich and educated woman and a poor and uneducated woman.

The first woman is infected by her rich partner who is a captain of industry with Herpes and sues him and gets huge settlement and lives happily ever after. The second woman is poor, married with three children and faithful to her husband who has several partners and refuses to use condoms and infects his wife with HIV. She is not allowed to force him to be tested or to disclose his status so suffers alone and because he won't be tested, she also has to take the blame for her infection.

Through this tapestry, the Keiskamma Trust intends to raise awareness about women’s rights within the Hamburg community, an empoverished area of the Eastern Cape of South Africa where the HIV-AIDS rate is above 15%, and above 30% amongst pregnant women.

Follow this link to know more about the Keiskamma Exhibition.

Follow this link to know more about the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival.

Gogo to Gogo Programme

The Gogo group was started in 2008 by Eunice Mangwane from SA, Sue McNab from the UK and Annette Woudstra from Canada/SA.
It began by wanting to honour the strength of the women in our community who often have had to suffer the loss of their own children to disease and then take care of their grandchildren. Crossroads and Lover’s Twist have successful and now independent chicken-raising projects, and soon Hamburg village has just started their own with great success.

Ntilini and Bodium villages have large organic gardens that they were taught to run by the Keiskamma Trust Gardeners and they are still supported weekly by them. Rain tanks, seeds and tools were provided to them through the fundraising efforts of the Bourne End Gogo group who have so far donated over 160 000 Rands to this programme and to the chicken growing groups.

Over 70 Grandmothers attended our first rally in July of 2011—representing 6 villages and marking the first time that they have all been brought together. We had such fun and the Gogos enjoyed showing off their energy and joy in life—which is a encouragement to us all.

Nozeti Makhubalo

The Keiskamma Trust Gogo to Gogo groups are supported primarily through the fund and awareness raising efforts of the Bourne End Gogo, UK.

The Women of Hope Group in Edmonton Alberta, Canada, have also assisted in funding this programme.
Both Grandmother Groups in the UK and in Canada have also generously supported the other programmes of the Trust that impact Grandmothers’ lives directly—the Health Project, which provides home-based care and HIV/AIDs services to over 40 villages in our district, and the Art Project which provides essential income generating opportunities for many Grandmothers who struggle to support large families with very limited resources or support.
Contact Annette at for up-to-date info on the Gogo programme, or to find out how to help support this initiative.