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    Research portfolio: Positive living

    Coombes, Annie E. Research portfolio: Positive living. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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    This portfolio includes research which underpinned a curated exhibition and an academic conference, culminating in a research article which constructs and analyses a short history of some key visual strategies developed to raise political consciousness in South Africa and internationally over one of the darkest periods in South Africa’s history from 1999 to 2006. This was the period when former President Thabo Mbeki, in denial about the relationship between HIV and AIDS, withheld life-saving treatment from hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable South African citizens who were only just emerging from the scourge of apartheid. The research examines the strategies deployed by artists engaged in raising awareness and support from the international community in order to put pressure on the South African government, and the visual strategies (sometimes assigned as ‘craft’ or ‘therapy’) produced as local, often rural community responses to the HIV crisis. The research is intended to provoke a more comparative debate about the relative values and limitations of different visual strategies and the ways in which visual and material culture can produce powerful tools for social change. Initiatives analysed in the research include • the Keiskamma Art Project’s remaking of Pablo Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ to narrativise their own histories of struggle with HIV in the Eastern Cape; • the ‘Paper Prayers’ project initiated by Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg; • international photographer Gideon Mendel’s engagement with HIV/AIDS as a core of his practice from the 1980s; • the process and re-appropriation of body mapping as a therapeutic and pedagogic practice in a variety of international contexts; • the impact of the making of individual memory boxes by individuals orphaned by AIDS; • the critical relationship between art, activism and HIV for long term Khayelitsha resident Nondumiso Hlwele, Treatment Action Campaign activist Thobani Ncapai, and fine artists Penny Siopis and Sue Williamson.


    Item Type: Other
    Additional Information: Exhibition held at Peltz Gallery London, 13 Nov 2015 - 22 Jan 2016
    School: School of Arts > History of Art
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2020 10:30
    Last Modified: 18 Feb 2021 07:05

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