18 August – 20 September 2020
Expressive hand movements accompany a folk song in a South African language. Some gestures are universally recognisable from waving and beckoning to pointing and halting. However, their full meaning along with the words of the song escapes us without subtitles. In Mabogo Dinku (2019), Lerato Shadi (b. South Africa) offers a take on the history of her people marginalised during the apartheid regime. By not translating her own language into English or another dominant European language, Shadi rejects the history of Western colonisation in South Africa and ensures the viewer listens to her mother tongue.
Lerato Shadi was born in Mahikeng, South Africa, and lives and works in Berlin. She graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 2006 and earned a MA in Spatial Strategies from the Weißensee Academy of Art in Berlin. Shadi works across video, performance and installation, often employing repetitive processes. Her work has been included in international exhibitions, most recently at the 14th Curitiba Biennal in Brazil; Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town. She has been awarded the Alumni Dignitas Award of the University of Johannesburg in 2016, the Villa Romana Prize in 2018, and the Berliner Senat Arbeitsstipendium in 2019. Her work is in the collection of Tate, London, n.b.k. Videoforum, Berlin and Iziko South African National Gallery.
The Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town was established nearly 150 years ago and the national collection reflects that history, with works by Southern African artists and the diaspora and also artworks by British, Dutch and other international artists. The Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery, with its focus on public art engagement and fundraising, is pleased to be the curator of the AFI project, supported by the National Gallery.
The Artists Film International 2020 programme responds to the theme of language. Local sounds, rituals and political realities feature, from the rhythms and images of a Bahamian Junkanoo to the contested ancestral lands on the desert border between Mexico and the USA.