3rd Text Africa

3rd Text Africa (formerly Third Text Africa) is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes contemporary perspectives on visual arts and culture, with a particular interest in facilitating and stimulating critical scholarship on and from the African continent. Third Text Africa was initiated by Rasheed Araeen, founding editor of Third Text, in partnership with ASAI. 3rd Text Africa has its own editorial structure and operates independently of the print journal.

Editorial Collective

Founding Editor: Rasheed Araeen, founder editor of Third Text, London

Editorial Board: 

Nirveda Alleck, Mahatma Gandhi Institute, University of Mauritius

Alda CostaUniversidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo

Christine Eyene, Liverpool John Moore's University, UK

Nomusa MakhubuUniversity of Cape Town & ASAI

Mario Pissarra, ASAI

Lize van Robbroeck, University of Stellenbosch & ASAI

Advisory Council:

Awam AmkpaNew York University, USA

Raphael ChikukwaNational Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare

Roberto ConduruSouthern Methodist University, Dallas, USA

Angelo KakandeMakerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Namuburu Rose KirumiraMakerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Abdellah KarroumL’Appartement 22, Rabat, Morocco

Yacouba Konate, University of Abidjan, Ivory Coast 

Kwame LabiUniversity of Ghana, Accra

Neo Matome, University of Botswana, Gaborone

Nicholas Mirzoeff, New York University, USA

Anitra Nettleton, Wits University, South Africa

William Bwalya Mikoindependent, Lusaka

Barbara Murray, independent, London

Jacqueline NolteUniversity of the Fraser Valley, Vancouver



We are currently preparing the next edition, 'Walls', guest edited by Thulile Gamedze. The CFP for next edition will be issued in July 2023.

Guidelines for submissions

Texts can be in the form of essays, interviews or reviews. Visual essays are also welcome.
Texts should not exceed 7,000 words, including notes.
Portuguese and English texts are welcome.
Contributors should comply with ASAI’s style sheet (available on request)

For enquiries:

Mario Pissarra mario@asai.co.za


What is 3rdText Africa? 3rd Text Africa (formerly Third Text Africa) is a peer-reviewed online, open-access journal that publishes themed editions on contemporary art and culture, particularly the visual arts, with an emphasis on scholarship on and from Africa.

Does Third Text Africa have anything to do with the journal Third Text?
Third Text Africa (as then known) was initiated by the founding editor of Third Text, Rasheed Araeen, in order to pursue the broad mandate of Third Text, namely “critical perspectives on contemporary art and culture” with a focus on African art and scholarship. 3rd/Third Text Africa has always operated independently (editorially and financially) of Third Text. The change in name to 3rd Text Africa serves to emphasize our independence. 

Is 3rd Text Africa a project of a University? No, Third Text Africa is produced by ASAI, an independent research platform based at the University of Cape Town, but is not funded by UCT.

Is 3rd Text Africa accredited by the Department of National Education, RSA?  No. This is not a platform designed for (South African) academics to earn subsidies for their institutions. 

Will 3rd Text Africa be offering a print version in the future? The emphasis is on publishing online, as this reaches a broader audience. Print versions would only be considered if funding is available for this purpose.

If 3rd Text Africa is an online journal, what format will it adopt to be viewed? Articles can be downloaded independently as pdfs.

Can I publish my article in other journals or does 3rd Text Africa demand exclusivity?
3rd Text Africa gives preference to original articles, but will consider previously published articles if it adds value to a particular issue. Articles first published online with 3rd Text Africa can be published elsewhere, provided that prior publication in Third Text Africa is acknowledged.

When do I hear from you? You will receive an acknowledgment of receipt within one week of sending your article. We aim to inform you of the outcome within six weeks of the deadline for the relevant issue.

Do all articles submitted get peer reviews?
Only articles considered by the editors to be suitable candidates for publication proceed to peer review. Articles considered unsuitable by the editors will not be sent to reviewers.

How does peer review work? Editors make an initial assessment of all articles and identify reviewers. Reviewers submit written reports to editors. These reports either recommend publication as is, publication subject to particular changes, or that articles should be declined. Editors consider reviewers reports before communicating to writers. The identity of writers is not disclosed to reviewers and vice versa.

What kind of people are asked to do peer review? A wide network of reviewers is used, including but not limited to the members of the editorial board and advisory council. Reviewers are typically professionals in high standing. These include academics, curators, educators and other art professionals. Postgraduate students with developed professional reputations are also invited.

Are contributors paid? Under normal circumstances writers, as well as reviewers, editorial board members and advisory council members are not paid for their contributions. The editor and/or managing editor are employed by ASAI.

What does the editorial board do? The editorial board acts as sounding board for the editors, and recommends themes and policy. Editorial members also contribute to peer review.

What does the advisory council do? The advisory council acts as a broad consultative and support network for the editors. Members also assist with peer review.

What kinds of papers are typically accepted? Papers that challenge orthodoxies and provide fresh perspectives. Papers that engage with the interface between art and broader social issues are particularly welcome.

What are the length limitations on papers Third Text Africa accepts? 3rd Text Africa strongly prefers articles of 5000-7000 words in length including text and footnotes, however we will except texts with less or more words. The strength of the content is privileged over word count


Informal meeting with Rasheed Araeen, organised by ASAI, Cape Town 2008. Araeen had been invited to give the keynote speech at the SA Visual Arts History conference, and it was during this visit that he proposed the establishment of Third Text Africa.

critical perspectives on contemporary art and culture Africa

Third Text Africa, Volume 1.3, ‘Surveying South Africa’



This third edition of Third Text Africa comprises selected articles on South African themes published in Third Text between 1991 and 2000. Each comprises a survey of sorts – whether a critical account of South African art practice or a review of an exhibition that was panoramic in scope. Since Third Text only covered a small fraction of such material generated during this period, this edition could be seen to be a random sample of a random sample.

However, in other respects this random sample is revealing. Firstly, it indirectly affirms that most surveys take the form of exhibitions. Secondly, it reminds us that most curated surveys are produced for an international audience, more specifically in the USA and a handful of European centres. Thirdly, the fact that Third Text has published more articles on South African topics than on other African or Third World countries highlights the relative dominance of South African art. Are these observations simply the way it is, or cause for concern?

The need to move beyond survey exhibitions has been argued by, among others, Sylvester Ogbechie. Ogbechie has consistently argued that without detailed studies of individual artists African artists will not gain their deserved place within international art. Here again one can observe that South Africans dominate other African countries both in the number of international solo exhibitions held and the number of texts on individual artists. Notably most of these individual studies comprise catalogues , thereby affirming the quantitative dominance of exhibitions in developing intellectual capital.

With interest in South African survey exhibitions being sustained a lot longer than may have been expected, one has to ask why it is that there is apparently less international interest in survey exhibitions of other African countries? Is South African art really more interesting? Why is the art world interested in exhibitions centred on identity in South African art but seemingly less interested in what, for example, Nigeria or Egypt have to say about the subject? Does South Africa really have more or better artists than other African countries? Is it that South Africa has a more developed infrastructure for art? What does history, politics, and resources have to do with the relative prominence of South African art compared to, for example, the relative invisibility of artists in the Southern African Development Community? Does race have anything to do with it?

The irony is that it is critical surveys, both national and transnational, that can assist in answering some of these questions. Yet, it must be said, this will require a paradigm shift. Commercial interests, particularly those of publishers, galleries and artists, determine that many of our exhibitions and publications are little more than glorified marketing. Colin Richards’ essay, which may have been the first to identify identity as a key theme in South African art, was motivated by a genuine desire to make critical sense of practice within the transition from apartheid to democracy. Can the same be said of most writing on South African art?

Mario Pissarra
Editor, Third Text Africa

Publication & Copyright Information

Publication & Copyright Information

Colin Richards’ “About Face: Aspects of Art, History and Identity in South African Visual Culture “ was published in Third Text, no.s 16/17, 1991, pp. 101-133.

Gabriel Perez-Barreiro’s “Earth and Everything: Recent Art from South Africa” was published in Third Text, 1997, no. 38, pp. 92-94.

Jacqueline Nolte’s “Contemporary South African Art 1985–1995” was published in Third Text, no. 39, 1997, pp. 95-103.

Biko Agozino’s “The Globalisation of Apartheid: Representing Power” was published in Third Text, no. 42, 1998, pp. 95-99.

Mario Pissarra’s “Cross Currents: Contemporary Art Practice in South Africa” was published in Third Text, no. 52, 2000, pp. 95-102.

All previously published texts appear in Third Text Africa with permission of Third Text and Routledge. Copyright resides with Third Text/ Authors. No article may be reproduced without the written permission of the Editor, Third Text.

Sophie Peters

b. 1968, Johannesburg, South Africa; lives in Cape Town.

Printmaker, painter and musician, Sophie Peters’ images reflect her personal history, her spiritual connections, and her relationship to the places and times in which she grew up, and continues to live.

Sophie Die Heldersiende KunstenaarDalena Van Jaarveld Kuier. 25 November 2009

Beyond Borders. Voyage Ensemble Sipho Velaphi & Linda Nkosi Ngwenya. Rootz. 2007

A cry from the heart: Sophie Peters

Her days are numbered Sanlam Exhibition

Black Artists Exhibit:Truth,reconciliation in art Lloyd Pollak. Cape Times. 29 September 1999

Breek of baas
Marie Claire. June 1997

Read article

Resolute Sophie Fulfills her dream The Argus. 14 June 1995

Read article

Life’s experiences as art Gareth Van Blerk. June 1995

Life and art: Sophie’s choice Shannon Neill. South Side 9. April 1994

Sophie Skets’wat sy voel’ Shireen Adams. Metro- Burger. Dongerdag. 25 November 1993

Sophie Peters. Group Show



“Voyage Ensemble, A Journey Together” , Scalabrini Centre, Cape Town 2007. Exhibition booklet.

“Voyage Ensemble, A Journey Together” , Scalabrini Centre, Cape Town 2007. Exhibition booklet. Sophie


“voyage ensemble, a journey together” , scalabrini centre, cape town 2006

“Voyage Ensemble, A Journey Together” , Scalabrini Centre, Cape Town 2006 - Sophie


Conversations with Sophie Peters [essay for exhibition catalogue]

This essay featured in the catalogue for Botaki Exhibition 3: Conversations with Sophie Peters, an exhibition curated by Mario Pissarra for Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town , 2005 


Art Education

1994: Advanced Teacher Training, Community Arts Project (CAP), Cape Town.
1988: Ceramics training with Barbara Jackson, Cape Town.
1986 - 1987: Community Arts Project (CAP), Cape Town.

Solo Exhibitions (South Africa)

2007: Hand To Plough Landscapes, The Framery Gallery, Cape Town.
1994: Cry from the Heart, Belville Association of Arts, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2010: 1910-2010: From Pieneef to Gugulective, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
2010: Exhibition, Gill Alderman Gallery, Kenilworth, Cape Town.
2008: Provoke, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town.
2008: Some South African Voices, Rose Korber Art Consultancy, Cape Town.
2007: africa south, Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
2006: Art in Business, Artscape, Cape Town.
2006: Face (In) Cape Town, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.
2006: A Journey Together, Voyage Ensemble, Scalabrini Centre, Cape Town.
2005: Botaki: Exhibition 2, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2005: Botaki: Exhibition 4, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2004: Her Story, Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town. 2004: Renaissance, Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
2004: A Decade of Democracy, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
2003: Dreams of Our Daughters, Klein Karoo Kunstefees, Oudtshoorn.
2001: The Hourglass Project: A Women’s Vision, Art on Paper, Johannesburg; UNISA Gallery, Pretoria.
2001: Homecoming, Guga S’Thebe, Cape Town.
2000: How the Land Lies, Chelsea Gallery, Cape Town.
2000: Greatmore Studios Official Opening, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
1999: Print Exchange 1998-1999: Portfolio for Playing Cards, Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch; Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria; Gencor Gallery, Johannesburg.
1999: Ten Years of Printmaking, Hard Ground Printmakers, Sanlam Art Gallery, Cape Town.
1998: Siwela Ngaphesheya, Crossing the water, Robben Island Museum, Robben Island.
1998: Ekhaya, travelling exhibition, Western Cape.
1998: Dis Nag - The Cape’s Hidden Roots in Slavery, Iziko South African Cultural History Museum, Cape Town.
1998: Recent Publications, Hard Ground Printmakers, Grahamstown Festival, Grahamstown.
1997: Recent Publications, Hard Ground Printmakers, Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
1997: Body Politic,Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
1996: Human Rights, South African Cultural History Museum, Cape Town.
1996: Barricaded Rainbow, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
1996: Artists Against Apartheid, Parliament, Cape Town, South Africa.
1994: Creating Image, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.
1993: South Africa in Black and White, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
1993: Picturing Our World, Grahamstown Festival, Grahamstown; Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
1993: Women on Women, Seef Trust Art Gallery, Cape Town.
1992: Looking Back, Community Arts Project, Cape Town.
1992: Visual Arts Group Travelling Exhibition, Zolani Centre, Nyanga East; Uluntu centre, Gugulethu; Mannenberg People's Centre; Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town.
1992: Tapestry Wall, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria.
1991: Visual Arts Group Travelling Exhibition, Cape Town.
1991: Transition, Baxter Theatre Gallery, Cape Town.
1991: Art in the Avenue, Cape Town.
1989: Nude, South African Association of Arts, Cape Town.
1989: Serendipity, Gallery, Cape Town.
1987: Invited Artists, Johannesburg Art Foundation.
1987: Volkskas Atelier Exhibition, Cape Town.
1986: The Eye of an Artist, Gugulethu.
1986: Young Blood, South African Association of Arts, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (International)

2008: Mapping Cultural Echoes - Voyage Ensemble, Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA), Harare.
2001: Canada.
2000: Germany. Iceland.
1998: Artist for Africa, Sweden.
1997 - 1998: Sicula Sixhentsa Xa Sisonke – The South Africa Aesthetic, (USA travelling exhibition), Mississippi, Detroit, New York.
1995: Peace for Africa, Geneva.
1994: Exhibition, (USA travelling exhibition), Brooklyn, Massachussets.
1994: Relief in Black and White, Brighton Festival, Brighton.
1990: Zabalaza Festival, Institute for Contemporary Art, London


Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
Durban Art Gallery, Durban.
Constitutional Court of South Africa, Johannesburg.
Western Cape Provincial Government, Cape Town.
Mayibuye Centre, University of the Western Cape.

Sophie Peters also has work in private collections in South Africa, Europe, the United States of America and Australia.

Commissions (mural painting and book illustrations)

2007: four paintings, Safmarine, Cape Town.
2005 - 2004: mural, Pentecostal Rapha Mission.
2004: Cape Span, Sea Point Protea Hotel, Cape Town.
1998: illustrations, Puleng and the Pumpkin, (children’s book).
1998: illustrations, Hair, (children’s book).
1998: linoprints, Truworths’ Millenium Calendar.
1997: illustration, True Love at Last, (Ginwala Dowling book).
1997: illustation, No More Stars in my Roof, (Ginwala Dowling book).
1997: illustation, The Original Natural Living Diary.
1996: mural, Robben Island Museum, Cape Town.
1996: mural, District Museum, Cape Town.
1996: mural, Department of Health, Cape Town.
1996: mural, Mayibuye Centre, University of Western Cape, Cape Town.
1996: book cover illustration, The Black Sash Trust Annual Report.
1996: illustration, Day by Day - English Pupils’ Book 5 (M. Niller Longman book).
1993 - 1994: mural, (with Tshidi Sefako and Xolile Mtakatya), Nico Malan Opera House, Cape Town.
1991: mural, Transitions, (with members of Hard-Ground Printmakers Workshop), Baxter Gallery, Cape Town.
1990: four murals, (in collaboration with other artists), Zabalaza Festival, London.
1989: murals (in collaboration with other artists), Community House, Salt River, Cape Town.

Workshops & Residencies

2023: ASAI Print Access Workshop, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
2018: ASAI Print Access Workshop, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
2006: Community Art Workshop, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.
2004: Renaissance Printmaking Workshop, Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.
2001: Greatmore Studios, Cape Town.
2001: Caversham Press, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
2000: Print 2000, Maastricht, Netherlands.
1997: Printmaking Project, Robben Island, Cape Town.
1990: Zabalaza Festival, London.

Publications (books, magazines, catalogues)

2008: SA Art Times, issue 11 vol. 3.
2006: Conversations with Tyrone Appollis, in Botaki: Exhibition 4, (catalogue), Mario Pissarra (curator), Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2005: Conversations with Donovan Ward, in Botaki: Exhibition 3, (catalogue), Mario Pissarra (curator), Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2004: Conversations with Sophie Peters, in Botaki: Exhibition 2, (catalogue), Mario Pissarra (curator), Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town.
2004: 10 years 100 artists: Art in a Democratic South Africa, Sophie Perryer (ed.), Bell Roberts Publishing, Cape Town.
2004: Renaissance Printmakers Exhibition, (catalogue), Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
2004: Die Burger, October 1, p7.
1999: The Hourglass Project - A Women’s Vision, (catalogue), R Christian (curator), Fulton Country Arts Council, Atlanta.
1998: Marie Caire Magazine.
1998: Stern Magazine, Germany.
1997: A Decade of Democracy: South African Art 1994-2004, Emma Bedford (ed.), Double Storey Books, Cape Town.
1997: E Rankin & P Hobbs, Printmaking in a Transforming South Africa, David Phillip Publishers, Cape Town.
1997: Contemporary South African Art 1985-1995, Third Text, vol 11 issue 39, pp 95-103.
1994: Sarie Magazine.
1993: Femina Magazine.
1992: Culture and Empowerment: Debates, Workshops, Art and Photography from Zabalaza Festival, A Oliphant (ed.), Staffrider, vol 10 no 3, Cosaw Publishing, Johannesburg.


Numerous awards for book illustrations.


Sophie Peters has taught art to children since 1987, including at Sakhile Children's Art Project, the Community Arts Project, and the Visual Arts Group in Cape Town.

Thami Kiti

b. 1968, Machibini, Eastern Cape, South Africa; lives in Khayelitsha.

Thami Kiti moved to the informal settlement of Crossroads in the early 1980s, and presently lives in Khayelitsha. Kiti learned to carve at the Community Arts Project. His skilful carvings draw on his rural upbringing and Xhosa identity, and express deep respect for the natural environment and the medium of wood itself.


From the Against the Grain catalogue:

"Thami Kiti's works draw directly on his Xhosa culture, in particular, [the] frequently revisited theme of sacrifice that is associated with most significant ceremonies that mark rites of passage, such as initiation, birth, marriage and death. His strong interest in three-dimensional form and narrative is best seen in references to the [hybrid] female forms that he calls "goat women"... Kiti's "goat women" capture a transformative, liminal moment [that] is accentuated through the representation of movement...The [inclusion] of hybrid figures in Cries of Crossroads introduces the use of animal as metaphor for the human condition, whereas the dramatic interplay between goat and woman in several works [symbolizes] the interdependence between human and animal beings. In Kiti's animal sculptures this inter-relationship is more ambiguously handled..."

- Mario Pissarra.


2018: ASAI Print Access Workshop, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
c. 1986 - 1995:  Part-time courses, Community Arts Project, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2017: Innibos Laeveld Nasionale Kunstefees craft competition, Mbombela.
2013-14: Against the Grain, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Sanlam art Gallery, Cape Town.
2005: Encompass, Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
2001: Homecoming, Gug’Sthebe, Langa, Cape Town.
1997: Shadows of Robben Island, Robben Island, Cape Town.
1995: Thami Kiti, Wanini Hill Group Show, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town.
1994: The Loft, Cape Town.
1994: Idasa Gallery, Cape Town.
1994: Wood panels, Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
1992: Made in Wood: work from the Western Cape, South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
1991: Sculptors of the Western Cape (organized by Andrew Steyn and Mario Sickle), Stellenbosch; Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town.
1990: Ricky Dyaloyi, Billy Mandindi, Wanini Hill, Thami Kiti Group Show, Joseph Stone, Athlone, Cape Town.
1990: Vuyisane Mgijima, Timothy Mafenuka and Xolile Mtakatya, Thami Kiti Group Show, Cape of Good Hope Castle, Cape Town (with ).
c. 1986 – 1993: Annual Exhibitions, Community Arts Project, Cape Town.


University of the Western Cape (Community Arts Project Collection).
Private collections in South Africa, United States and Europe, notably the Ronnie Levitan Estate, Cape Town.


2013: Mario Pissarra, Against the Grain, Africa South Arts I,nitiative (ASAI) Cape Town


2017: First prize, Innibos Laeveld Nasionale Kunstefees craft competition, Mbombela, South Africa.


2008 - 2011: Assistant puppet maker, Handspring Puppet Company.  

1996: Thapong International Artists Workshop, Gaborone, Botswana.