Vakalisa Art Associates

Vakalisa Arts Association (1982- c. 1992) was a network of black cultural workers that was active in the Western Cape. Vakalisa held several exhibitions and cultural events in community spaces, and published five calendars and two volumes of poetry.



Adams, Keith Then: writer. Now: adult educator at St Joseph’s Adult Education Programme, Rondebosch, Cape Town

Adams, Willie

Andrews, Kate – Then: poet

Appolis, Tyrone – Then: visual artist, musician. Now: artist

Baker, Joan – Then: writer. Now: deceased

Baker, Kenny – Then: visual artist. Now: deceased

Barry, Michael – Then: visual artist and teacher.  Now: artist, and Head of Department of Arts and Culture, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Benjamin, Jean – Then: writer. Now: Deputy Minister of Social Development, South Africa

Berry, Peter

Budaza, Hamilton – Then: visual artist and teacher at CAP.  Now: curator, University of The Western Cape

Clarke, Peter Then & now: visual artist and poet.

Combrinck, Lisa – Then: writer. Now: spokesperson, Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa

Davids, Johann – Then: visual artist

Davids, Mervyn – Then:  visual artist and teacher.  Now: teacher

Davis, Lionel – Then: visual artist and teacher at CAP. Now: artist

Dennis, Carl

Dikeni, Sandile – Then & now: poet

Durrock, Patrick

Erasmus, Garth – Then: visual artist and teacher.  Now: artist and musician

Espin, Mark – Then: writer. Now: project coordinator, Centre For The Book, Cape Town

Essop, Sydda

Gabriels, Theo

George, Charlton – Then: actor and member of Action Workshop.  Now: actor

Hlongwane, David – Then: CAP student.  Now: curator, University of The Western Cape

Hollman, Rudien – Then: poet and writer

Holo, Patrick – Then: visual artist and teacher at the Nyanga Art Centre. Now: artist

Jansen, Beverly

Johnstone, Abduraghiem – Then: poet

Lombard, Rashid – Then: photographer. Now: CEO, ESP Afrika (Cape Town Jazz festival) Interview

Lupuwana, Luthando – Then & now: visual artist

Matthews, James – Then: poet and publisher.  Now: poet

Matthews, Jimi – Then: photojournalist.  Now: head of news, SABC

Meintjies , Frank – Then: writer and cultural activist. Now: political analyst and social change practitioner

Mthethwa, Zwelethu – Then & now: visual artist

Mthini, Mawande – Then: CAP student.  Now: artist

Parenzee, Donald – Then: poet and architect.  Now: poet, and member of ASAI

Prodehl, Arthur – Then: visual artist

Sauls, Lloyd – Then: photographer

Sickle, Mario – Then: visual artist and teacher at CAP

Siers, Rushdy – Then & now: writer

Smallberg, Mavis – Then & now: poet

Solomons, Vanessa – Then: UCT fine arts student and CAP teacher. Now: artist, New York

Swart, Dehran – Then: photographer.  Now: senior project manager, Paraffin Safety Association of South Africa

Thomas, Gladys – Then: writer

Thomas, Stanley – Then: graphic designer

Weeder, Michael

Willemse, Hein – Then: literary academic.  Now: professor, University of Pretoria

Vallie, Zubeida – Then: photographer


De-segregating the Audience: Race & the Politics of Exhibitions

by Mario Pissarra

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This was prepared for a panel discussion with the same title, held at the Centre for the Book, Cape Town, on 19 August 2010. The panel formed part of the “Beyond the Racial Lens” conference, which was itself part of the “Bonani 2010 Festival of Documentary Photography” convened by SAHO. Thembinkosi Goniwe and Khwezi Gule were also part of the panel, which was chaired by Farzanah Badsha.

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The Curator as Culture Broker: A Critique of the Curatorial Regime of Okwui Enwezor in the Discourse of Contemporary African Art

Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, 23 June 2010

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I presented this essay recently at the University of California Santa Cruz, at a conference titled The Task of the Curator. The general audience reception to my presentation showed me that the issue discussed here is being very much debated in the field of African art history. However, few people have written about it. I think formal critical analysis of our work and positions are very important for a field to grow. I am posting it here in the hope that it allows us to start discussing the important issues it touches on.

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Decolonisation of art in Africa: a post-apartheid South African perspective

by Mario Pissarra

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[Note: This was presented at the annual conference of the South African Visual Arts Historians at the University of Stellenbosch, 2008.]

This is not a tightly argued paper, but more of a loose mapping of ideas that have preoccupied me for several years, ideas triggered by the implications of the concept of decolonisation, specifically as it has relevance for the visual arts, within but not limited to the contemporary South African context. [1]

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Re-reading Malangatana

by Mario Pissarra

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[Note: An edited version of this essay appeared in Farafina #11]

For more than 40 years Malangatana has been one of Mozambique’s best known cultural figures, and indisputably her best known visual artist. Since his first appearance in a group exhibition in Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) in 1959, Malangatana’s works have been shown in numerous countries across the globe. His trademark style – dense compositions contained within shallow pictorial space, consisting of simplified shapes, mostly figurative, often with pronounced eyes and teeth, and typically rendered with a bright palette and bold outlines – is instantly recognisable.

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Accumulated Material: Contemporary Altares and Ofrendas

Jesus Macarena-Avila, 15 August 2006

[This essay was written for an exhibition featuring Giselle A. Mercier, Elvia Rodriguez-Ochoa, and Edra Soto, at Gallery Visio, University of Missouri – St. Louis, USA, curated by Jesus Macarena-Avila, 7-18 November 2006]


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