Collages by Avhashoni Mainganye (South Africa)
Avhashoni Mainganye is an artistic all-rounder. Not only does he make paintings, sculptures and photos but he has also worked as an artist, art instructor, cultural activist and even as a poet. He has had exhibitions in Cape Town and at the Klein Karoo Arts and the National Arts festivals as well as in Botswana, China and the US. He has taught painting and lino printing at Coker College in the US and collaborated with artists in Switzerland, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He was born in 1957 in Phiphidi in Venda in the northern part of South Africa, where he still lives.
In 2010 Gallery iZArte in Zutphen showed his paste-ups and small sculptures in an exhibition called ‘Journey’. Avhashoni explained then that this journey is the journey everyone makes as an individual in his/her life. And about the paste-ups he said, ‘In and around Soweto and other townships and towns in South Africa and in the whole world I saw (political) posters on walls and street lamps. I treat collage as metal, as industrial waste, which is a part of our urban surroundings.’
Avashoni’s collages are currently on loan from iZArte and can be seen in the corridors of the African Studies Centre on the third floor of the Pieter de la Court building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden. They are for sale, for prices ranging from €110 to €1050. The exhibition is open weekdays from 9:00–17:00 from 14 February until 15 April 2011.
Photo exhibition by Gerard Persoon: The Carnival Parade in Douala
This exhibit is now over. The prices, dates, places and external hyperlinks on this page are not maintained and may no longer be accurate.
Having to stay overnight in Douala (Cameroon) towards the end of February 2009, I went for an early morning walk in the square in front of the General Post Office. From a distance I could already hear drums and trumpets. I could also hear people singing and see beautifully dressed girls practising their dance steps. In corners of the square, boys and girls were putting paint all over their bodies and decorating themselves in outfits ranging from skirts made of banana leaves, flowers and strings of bottle tops to dresses for ballroom dancing. Some big open trucks belonging to companies like Orange (mobile phones) and Paul Ricard (apératif anise) were decorated with bright banners too. Men riding decorated horses were galloping across the square. Everybody was getting ready for the Carnival parade.
Carnival in Douala? I had never heard about Carnival in Africa before, but then again, there is still so much I don’t know about Africa. Gradually more and more people started to gather: traditional music and dancing groups from a wide region, reggae artists in Bob Marley outfit played their favourite songs, and a large group of travesties tried to seduce growing numbers of spectators. Acrobats in clown-like outfits performed their crazy acts. Six strong men were carrying a Chinese dragon while moving wildly. Streets vendors of cooked food, cold drinks, sun glasses and sports shoes were looking for customers among the exited crowd.
After a few hours of preparations, people were asked to get ready and the order in which the groups would move into town was determined. A police car gave the signal that the parade was about to move off. Gradually the joyful sounds of people singing, shouting and laughing faded until even the beating of the drums was taken over by the noise of cars and heavy trucks in the busy city.
For more information: Gerard A. Persoon, anthropologist at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The photos are on display in the library of the African Studies Centre of the Pieter de la Court building, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden. The exhibition is open weekdays from 9:00–17:00 from 5 January until 31 March 2011.
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