Sonya Solanki completed her B.Bus.Sci in Marketing at UCT in 2015. Before joining the Honours in Curatorship program in 2021, she worked in strategic marketing consulting exploring quantitative, qualitative and cultural insights from a global and local perspective. This is where her interest in human stories relevant to culture emerged. Through the study of Curatorship, Sonya is hoping to use her childhood experience in Indian Classical dance as an entry point to understanding dance and choreography's broader role in storytelling, exploring gender dynamics and the transnational movement of this artform from India to South Africa.
Azola Krweqe was born in Cape Town in 1995. She did her undergraduate degree at the University of Cape Town and completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in Industrial Sociology and Social Development. She is an activist who has done work in the education sector. During her undegrad, she occupied student governance positions at the University of Cape Town, working towards institutional change. She has also worked for the non-governmental organisation, Equal Education, which is directed towards addressing structural inequalities in the basic education sector in South Africa. Azola is passionate about black stories and black lives. This year, her research considers the social landscape and how black women's bodies have been hypersexualised and continuously objectified. Through her practices, she hopes to develop spaces where people can easily engage and access art.
Ezra Mokgope was born and raised in Marikana, Northwest Province and completed his undergraduate degree majoring in Anthropology and International Relations in 2019 from the University of Cape Town. He is now living and working in Cape Town as a photographer, digital curator and anthropologist at the SA Sendinggestig Museum. Ezra's interests are photography as a liberatory practice, interdisciplinary studies in relation to cultural and socio-political contexts, as well as platforming and showcasing art and artists specifically in South Africa and other parts of the African continent and writing on postcolonial imaginaries. His broader research interests include social practice within arts and culture, and the creation of public spheres and programs that encourage open access spaces for the creation and reception of creative and performing art events and discourse. He is also interested in artistic literary interventions such as Text-Image studies, the history and possibilities of the printed word and the relationship of these concepts to the contemporary manifestation of reading and writing, as well as development of future museologies and other creative experimental frameworks. His career vision is to lead projects that entail and engage with the creation and propagation of new institutions (galleries, museums, libraries) of creative arts, using decolonization as a framework and a launching pad to engage the old archive with the desire to birth the new.
Lily van Rensburg
Lily van Rensburg has a Bachelor of Arts specialising in Film and Media Production from the University of Cape Town. She is pursuing a career in heritage conservation and has previous experience working as a production manager, photographer, and art cataloguer. Lily is particularly interested in the transparency of arts institutions, and their willingness to make privately held information publicly accessible. In her Honours research she engages with Afrikaner nationalism and apartheid era art, investigating ways of dealing with such complex and violent collections in the political climate of today.
Sogaula (b. 1993, eQonce) is interested in fashion as cultural phenomenon and how it becomes inextricably implicated in the construction of group and individual identities. Her current research is an exploration into the ubiquity of the fashion moment in contemporary South Africa and its remarkably ordinary presence in daily life. By reading South African fashion and its representations as text, Sogaula wishes to explore the ways in which meaning is inscribed on the body, and how social subjects reimagine binary constructions of identity.
Nicci Wells was born in Johannesburg in 1998. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology and Classical Studies in 2019 and BA Hons Archaeology in 2020 both at the University of Cape Town. With this background she has always had a fascination in objects and artefacts and their histories in the lives of people. She is especially interested in the disconnect between the archaeological discovery process, how it creates an archive and how that archive is then inaccessible to the general public. She wants to bridge this divide in the future making the information gathered by these processes accessible to everyone, especially those whose history is being studied and written about without them even knowing about it. For her Honours in Curatorship project she is focusing on inheritance as something that is symbolic of love and knowledge passed from one generation to another, but also the weight that comes with carrying the burden of that knowledge and what to do with it going into the future.
Kayla Holloway was born in Durban in 1998, later moving to Cape Town at the age of four. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Media as well as Archaeology at the University of Cape Town. She recently finished an Honours degree in Archaeology at UCT at the start of 2021, writing her thesis on a South African zooarchaeological site along the West Coast, discovered to be an ancient brown hyaena den accumulation. Her interest in the Sciences is strong but her need for discovering the story and meaning behind the science is what truly inspired her into moving toward curatorship. She has always been a lover and partaker of the arts, from photography and fine art to dancing and live performance, and her fine art creations have often been in the form of installations, allowing people to touch, see and move with the artwork within the presented space. Kayla has also been fascinated with the development of artistic expression throughout time and space- how art and performance can be the most authentic, sensorily invoking form of history telling, self-expression and emotional communication. She hopes to further bring the element of a multi-sensory stimulation and emotional connectivity into her curatorial work in the future.
Angela Shaw has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (1990), with majors in Philosophy, English and Comparative African Government. She began her career as a photographer and has worked in the USA, Hong Kong, Myanmar and South Africa in photography, research, project management, artisanal product design, exhibition design, and in strategic leadership roles. Shaw is the Executive Director at KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts in Durban, South Africa (2014-current). Her Honours in Curatorship research project looks at the relationship between collaboration and financial sustainability in the creative sector in KwaZulu-Natal.
Nickita Maesela obtained her Bachelor's from the University of Cape Town in 2017. This was coming off the back of #FeesMustFall in 2016 during which she was the chairperson of the humanities student council. She decided to take a break after her degree exploring different sonic art portals that involved DJing and her being one of the selected Design Indaba class of 2018. Fast forward she received the opportunity to do work for what her and her editor called the Queer desk at City Press for online and print. This was a momentous moment for her not only as a queer person herself but also because she was able to share stories across the diaspora, focused on southern African queer and transgender people, which changed her perceptions of reality extensively and helped her grow spiritually so much.
She was a 200 Young Mail & Guardian winner for 2020 under the scope of Media, a panelist for the International Journalist Conference based on the work she did with City Press, an invited speaker for a Commonwealth Writers discussion with esteemed guests (which was soon after we entered what felt like the end of the world (Covid-19)), and also received her acceptance into the Curatorship programme which she had wanted to be in since her undergrad. Along with this, Nickita has been part of doing work with the Nelson Mandela Foundation Marketing department and has really felt that the Curatorship programme brings to life so many different voices and perspectives which is mind blowing. She really hopes to be able to continue on this path of storytelling through her work as a curator and someone who hopefully will be invigorating minds in the Art realm. Her current research roots from a dream that her late makazi had that she is mapping through different portals, and she looks forward to presenting this work outside of her head, her spirit and her computer notes very very soon.