Aaliyah Ahmed was born in 1996 in Cape Town. She completed her Bachelor of Social Science at the University of Cape Town in 2018, majoring in Social Anthropology and History.
It was through her studies in Anthropology that she found her love for Visual Anthropology. She is particularly interested in the use of photography and documentary film-making to tell people’s stories that gives the participants autonomy and agency. Ahmed focuses on how ‘the visual’ can be used to transform the way we educate and the way we learn. She explores the idea that the visual medium could contribute to a libratory pedagogy. Her key areas of interests include identity, migration, religion, spirituality, healing and culture, specifically in the African context.
Beata America is a two-time graduate from Stellenbosch University. Finding her start and graduating in Classical piano and guitar in 2015, she undertook another Bachelor degree and graduated with English and Visual studies in 2018.
After being immersed by the world of visual arts during her second undergraduate, the relationship between art and music became of real interest to America. With nineteen years of musical training, she is hopeful that this can only be an asset in her future curatorial career. In addition to this, America has a keen interest in the Internet and how we consume content online in today’s day and age – particularly the invasive nature of constantly being exposed to content and its effect on the way we curate our own lives. Finding a link between these two interests is a challenge she wishes to conquer in her Honours in Curating.
Sana Ginwalla is a photography graduate with a background in fashion, documentary photography, and graphic and layout design. Her graduate show, which took place in London in 2017, focused on the concepts of home, identity and belonging.
Being of Indian and Burmese descent, Zambia is Ginwalla’s birthplace and home. Her ongoing personal projects explore the Zambian-Indian identity through oral histories and photographs. She is the co-founder of Everyday Lusaka, an online platform and stationary company where images of the city that are relevant to the ethos of the project are shared. The initiative explores Lusaka as a city – a contrast to the overused narratives of wildlife and poverty that is often associated with Africa. Ginwalla is responsible for designing the stationary products that are sold at galleries and local markets in Lusaka.
Her research for her Honours in Curatorship remains central to the idea of identity, with a focus on archiving photographs of the colonial era by collecting found images made by minority groups in Lusaka.
Jonathan Goschen is a photographer, writer and culturally curious person. Born in Franschhoek in 1995, he holds a Bachelor of Arts with majors in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of Cape Town. His work involves a close investigation of ideas, and a sharing of that with the public. He believes that Curatorship contains a unique opportunity to incorporate a variety of mediums in exploring an idea, and to allow the viewer to interact with that idea in real space.
Goschen is currently curating an exhibition titled An Imaginative History of the Cape Town Harbour which will launch in April 2019.
Lethabo Gumede was born in 1996 in Benoni, Gauteng. She completed her Bachelor of Social Science with majors in Gender Studies and Social Anthropology and her Honours degree in Social Anthropology. Her dissertation was focused on how black female dancers carry their identity of being black in historically white places, such as the ballet studio. Gumede has been a ballet and contemporary dancer for 16 years, and this intimate experience with the ballet studio made a significant ethnographic contribution towards her final dissertation.
Gumede has worked with several Non-Profit Organisations which has equipped her with project management skills in various departments. She has found herself drawn to sex-positive educational programmes and culturally stimulating projects for high school learners. She has since worked at The Centre for The Less Good Idea and has expanded her research-based social science background to incorporate interdisciplinary elements into her practice. Her current interests are authentic African designs found in fabric, garments and textiles and how they inspire African cultures.
Afrah Mayet recently completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Cape Town. She majored in Art History and French, and took a number of different electives that have informed her interests within Curatorship. She is fascinated by cross-cultural artistic links and the concept of identity within contemporary art.
Mayet is committed to social justice which she believes has a voice within the arts. She has a desire to bring value to unaccustomed narratives in order to yield reflection and action while being committed to a politics of mutuality and plurality. Mayet is particularly interested in the relations between the arts and socio-political systems as well as the relationship between art and the self.
Malikah Meyer is 23 years old and lives in Factreton, Cape Town. In 2018 she completed her a Bachelor of Arts degree at Stellenbosch University, majoring in Ancient Cultures, History and Political Sciences.
She volunteered as an assistant text editor during the upgrade of the Kemet: Life of Everyday Egyptians display at the Iziko Slave Lodge Museum, working alongside curator Esther Esmyol. Since the launch of the display, Meyer continued her volunteering at the Social History Research Center, receiving mentorship in the wide field of conservation and curatorship. Becoming a curator has been her life goal for over a decade. Meyer is interested in curating the personal histories of people of colour, especially women, whose contributions to the world have been widely overlooked. Her research interests lie in the role of artefacts in preserving the history of ancient civilisations, and the conservation of such artefacts.
Larissa Mwanyama graduated from Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2018 and majored in Printmaking. Her work deals with a number of themes that filter through her sense of identity which she feels is ‘poetically complex’ - being that she was born and raised in South Africa, but is of Malawian heritage and identifies as such. However, she finds that she engages with South African political affairs, but does so through a culturally-based spiritual process.
Focusing on the notion of story-telling as a base to extend her sense of identity, Mwanyama works and analyses the structures of telling stories and the context of each. She is particularly interested in how knowledge is produced and carried down, and how it then manifests and is perceived. She explores these complexities through textiles and African Wax Print which, to Mwanyama, “has its own story-telling system” and manifests this through its various patterns and colours.
Phoka Nyokong is an artist, curator, writer and researcher. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Technology in Fine Art from Tshwane University of Technology. From 2017 to 2018, he worked at the Pretoria Art Museum as an education assistant and museum guide. His work is a trans-disciplinary focus on performance, video and installation, photography, story-telling, curating and writing. He has exhibited his work at the Aardklop Arts Festival, the Turbine Art Fair, the Pretoria Art Museum and Lizamore and Associates, among others.
Nyokong’s current practice involves writing as a medium, which he uses as a collaborative engagement with viewers. This has led to a research focus in the use of text in the public visual discourses that are part of the urban contemporary space. The use of street advertising strategies, including some illegal practices used by the ‘informal sector’, provides a point of interest in his fascination with the South African urban architecture and built environment. Ultimately, his focus rests on visual anthropology and biopolitics, and on how these areas of scholarship may be understood, but also framed by the state of contemporary economic life.
Nathalie Viruly is a multi-disciplinary activist, visual storyteller and birth doula. Born in 1995, as one of three sisters, her connection with women is a source of inspiration, creativity and critical investigation.
She holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Politics and Sociology and an Honours in Justice and Transformation from the University of Cape Town. Viruly is drawn to quieter narratives and undocumented forms of knowledge. As such, her 2017 thesis, Heart of Darkrooms, critiqued the international humanitarian framework for its homogenised visual narrative of engendered and racial conflict. Her love for stories, images and an innate curiosity led her to study Curatorship at the CCA in 2019.
Viruly’s work with the CCA is combined with her experiences as a doula in the South African health sector. Her research centres on the visual culture of social justice, intergenerational trauma, motherhood and the complex silences within our country. Viruly focuses on the history of women’s reproductive and sexual rights as well as symbolic violence within practices of care. She aims to use the medium of exhibition to invert power systems and ultimately create radical compassion and transformation.
Geena Wilkinson was born in 1994 in Cape Town where she currently lives and works. In 2016, Wilkinson graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art.
Wilkinson’s work addresses themes of female empowerment and attempts to deconstruct and re-articulate outdated stereotypes placed upon women. Her pieces vary in scale and her medium ranges from sculpture, and installation to painting. Despite the apparent light-hearted exterior of her practice, Wilkinson's pieces often divulge a darker sense of the sinister; touching on themes of sexual abuse, harassment and violence against women. In 2018, Wilkinson presented her first solo exhibition at 99 Loop Gallery in Cape Town, titled Head First. Recent group exhibitions include New Guard at art b. - The Arts Association of Bellville, and Lemons don’t get much sweeter at Art on Avenues in Somerset West.