Mthuthuzeli Zimba is an interdisciplinary artist, passionate about storytelling, who believes in performances of transgression and disruption as a way of creating dialogue to confront and address unresolved socio-political issues that plague contemporary South Africa.

Zimba's project explores the concept of "Nature vs Nurture". He looks at structural violence in relation to the black body. Through the iconography of a zinc metal shack, Zimba investigates how structure (the shack) nurtures the black body and how it is in the nature of the body to respond to the violence that comes with the structure. A continuation of Zimba's project last year that looked at the embodiment of tension in the internal and the external experience of the body, this work also explores how violence may be intergenerational.


MA medium project (1) from Institute for Creative Arts on Vimeo.

Artist's Statement:

My research paper is a pedagogical study on character development in the performance of the everyday. It is an interrogation of the processes that shape and build character in a human body. I am focusing on the materiality of the black body as a field of exploration in the conceptual scope of ‘Tragedy’ and ‘the tragic’. The explication of Tragedy in the paper refers to Tragedy in the context of the marginalization of the black body existing in a space of violence and the Tragic being the recurrence of violence in the black body. Tragedy in this paper speaks to the inherent violence situated in the black body because of experience.

Still image: Mthuthuzeli Zimba on-set still for his MA medium project. Photograph courtesy of the artist