It’s a new month and what better way to keep the winter blues at bay than to party them away? We’ve put together a list of things to do and see from First Thursday happenings to vinyl sessions and farewell parties, this is the best of Jozi’s nightlife this week.
Thursday 6 July 2017:
Mixed Spaces, Keleketla! Library.
Address: 6 Verwey Street Troyeville, Johannesburg
On Thursday 6 July, multidisciplinary visual story-teller and music collector Zara Juluis screens her documentary film, Mixed Spaces at the Keleketla! Library located at King Kong, Troyville.
In conversations with various middle-class young adults who identify as mixed race, Mixed Spaces takes a look at their experiences and how they navigate ”Rainbow nation” South Africa. Formed from focus groups in her apartment while still living in Cape Town, Mixed Spaces interrogates the restrictions of racial categories in South Africa and how mixed race people defines themselves in a post-apartheid South Africa that obsessed with labels of black and white.
Doors open at 6:30pm and screening starts at 8pm. Following discussions the night will be rounded off with soulful tunes by Mma Tseleng and Zara.
Moses Tladi (1903-1959), Wits Arts Museum (WAM), Braamfontiein
WAM, corner of Bertha (ext. of Jan Smuts Ave) and Jorissen Streets, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
The Wits Arts Museum presents works of Moses Tladi produced from 1903 till 1959. Previously on show at Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, the Wits Arts Museum offers Joburgers the opportunity to view and experience the work of one South Africa’s lesser known landscape artist.
Born in the Limpopo village of Ga- Phaahla, Tladi was the first black artist to exhibit at the South African National Gallery in 1931 and the first Black artist to exhibit at the now Johannesburg Art Gallery in 1939.
Friday 7 July 2017:
DJ Slovo Vinyl Session, The Orbit Jazz Club
81 De Korte St, Braamfontein
Kicking off an exciting addition to Johannesburg’s nightlife and a welcome addition to the otherwise traditional jazz club, The Orbit presents their inaugural vinyl sessions this Friday, 7 July.
Featuring award winning filmmaker Bro Slovo aka Dylan Valley, the first Vinyl sessions promises an inclusive mix of sounds from hip hop, funk and groove jazz. Preceded by a live performance from GP Riot upstairs at 20h30, the Vinyl Sessions take place on the lower entry level of The Orbit from 23h30 at a cost of R50.
Jojo Abot Farewell, Kitchener’s Carvery Bar
71 Juta St, Braamfontein
After a whirlwind tour of performances, photoshoots, impromptu gigs, collaborations and exploring, Ghanaian born musician and enchantress Jojo Abot bids Jozi farewell in an epic send off this Friday at Kitchnere’s.
Featuring live performances from Jojo and Mthwakazi, party goers can also look forward to DJ sets by bass queen DJ Doowap and DJ Okapi among others. Event is free before 21:30
I call Madrid the home of PDA (Public display of affection), because the first thing I noticed when I arrived there was that people were never too shy to express their love for one another. Everywhere I went I saw people holding hands, kissing passionately or just sharing subtle moments while they loved each other loudly. Puerta de Toledo, Calle General Rodriguez and Plaza de Mayor quickly replaced Noord, Bree and Jeppestown. As a temporary citizen, they became my common spaces and I spent hours observing people living their lives.
It was here that I witnessed young fathers taking care, and nurturing their children effortlessly, where I experienced an environment with a little less violence; I experienced people living life and not surviving it. The city buzz, loud street vendors and crowded streets were replaced by Christmas lights, people walking dogs and cyclists. It was a huge contrast being in a city where the Vrr Phaa did not entice pedestrians and where every building had a cross on its roof top. I spent most days walking on Calle General Rodriguez which was the street between the apartment where I lived and the studio where I worked, a street with no more than 5 or 6 people of colour who all felt the need to give a slight wave or a salute as if to say ‘Aluta Continua mntase’.
My time in Madrid was the first time I really felt alone, the first time I had no choice but to be an adult and be strong. On my first day I found out that there were few people who cared for the English language and that my inability to speak Spanish would result in my total alienation from most conversations, while I recovered from that I had to deal with the fact that I would have to survive two months with no atchar or vinegar on my chips. Before I left I did not think about the culture shocks I would experience while I was there and I did not imagine that they would cause extreme anxiety on some days. What hit me hardest was adjusting to living in a country that was also a former colonizer because after all I had come from a former colony, and the contrasts were obvious. The first was the many monuments that still hailed people like Christopher Columbus as pioneer navigators who discovered unknown lands, leaving out the fact that those lands had people, natives occupying them. I was often struck by the somewhat ignorant attitude that the locals had towards the historical effects of European colonialism, I found myself often being corrected when I used the term ‘we were colonised’ instead of saying ‘we were conquered’ which was the more acceptable term. I spent most days comparing the differences between where I had come from, a former colony and where I was, a former coloniser.
I lived near the Rio del Manzanares River which is right across the home stadium for Atletico Madrid, the view from my room seemed too good to be true, magical sunrises and mesmerising sunsets. The energy from the stadium during matches was electric, though often times I felt like it lacked ‘that thing,’ perhaps due to the lack of vuvuzela sounds.
The studio was spacious and easy to work in despite the cold; it quickly became one of my favourite spaces because I could get lost in the work while I was there. Taking pictures was the most liberating thing I did while I was there…because it was the only thing that was familiar to me. It was the only exercise that did not require much conversation and it became my relief, I set up a makeshift studio in the space that was provided to me, I got the other artists from the studio to pose as models for my shoots and just like that work was underway. Everyday my main focus on most days was to get to the studio and get work done.
The idea that working class people in the Spanish context are considered to be at a lower class even if they can afford to ride on hover boards and buy soccer stadium tickets any day of the week to support the working man’s team, Atletico Madrid, took me a while to grasp. Because where I had come from, working class meant living on an income of less than R2500 a month and being thankful if you can get to eat meat for more than once in a single month. I was often conflicted because even though I was told that the barrio I lived in was made up of predominantly working class citizens, it still had some aspects of a middle class neighbourhood in the South African context, I felt more like I was living in the Hyde Park of Madrid, with its self-conscious citizens who went on jogs twice every day, fur coat madams who dressed to kill for a walk to the local store and dogs and their masters taking strolls through the Rio del Manzanares park on an average weekday.
Being a temporary citizen in a foreign city helped me grow more in two months than I could have in my whole life. I learnt that language though sacred, can also become a form of oppression in some instances, I learnt that even though people look different, even though we speak different languages at some point our different experiences shape how we see the world and how we interact with other people. As an artists I learnt that you will not always have what you need to produce a good body of work but at all times you must do what you can with what you have, I learnt how to passionately produce a body of work in a short amount of time whilst also curating and installing an exhibition in an unknown and unfamiliar space. More importantly I learnt that the world is not always willing to learn about our continent and the beauty and wealth it holds, thus as African creatives it’s important for us never to filter our voices to suite the world and that our stories are just as important and that they need to be told by us, now more than ever, and I can only hope that I will continue to produce from Africa, to the world.
Countering the exclusivity and inaccessibility of art, First Thursdays is a free cultural exploration of art galleries, live music events and reclamation of the city. Last night academy recruits, alumni and community members infiltrated Braamfontein to attend Umuzi’s very first pop up exhibition at the popular First Thursdays art walks.
Curated by american based photographer Moyo Oyelola and Umuzi creative directors Nthabiseng Lethoko and Odendaal Esterhuyse, the thought provoking exhibition presented an opportunity for new and old Umuzi community members to come together over a glass of wine and thought provoking art.
Forming part of a host of exhibitions and activities for the first First Thursday of the year, Umuzi recruits exhibited a series of multimedia installations and artworks around the themes of spiritual deprivation, gentrification and addiction.
Following a successful showcase in December, the second showing of Lost in the World boasted a surprise performance by writer, multimedia recruit and all round creative Ramoloti Kganakga. Dressed as a vagabond, Kganaka tackled issues of gentrification and other forms of systematic oppression in a commanding spoken word piece. Caught off guard, audience members were challenged to interrogate their own prejudice towards marginalised people.
Despite a downpour of rain,the night was a great success that saw new and old community members network, share ideas and socialise in the name of art.
We would like to thank Southpoint Central for helping us host a spectacular first First Thursday exhibition and look forward to working together and making creativity more accessible.