Festival International du Film PANAFRICAIN
16/004/2016 – 20/04/2016

Reflections on Blackness and Identity in Today’s South Africa/ Réflexions sur l’identité noire dans l’Afrique du Sud contemporaine

During the 13th edition of the “Festival International du Film PanAfricain,” Undiscovered Canvas will bring a haunting and breath taking exposition called “Reflections on Blackness and Identity,” featuring two young South African photographers, Vus Ngxande and Reatile Moalusi and the mystic South African painter Mathias Chirombo.

Through these young artists, Undiscovered Canvas offers a glimpse of how South Africans see the lingering effects of Apartheid on current society.

Vus Ngxande (photographer) through his series “Saturn Devouring His Son,” inspired by Spanish artist Francisco Goya, illustrates how he was drawn to this painting by morbid curiosity about Goya’s grotesque portrayal of broken fatherhood. He wanted to create an epilogue to the painting while exploring what happens to a child raised in a broken family. South African society is greatly challenged by the problem of dysfunctional fatherhood. As a result of the brutal history of Apartheid that emasculated black men, broke down the nuclear family and disempowered women, many men have had to make due with an incomplete understanding of what it is to be a man and a father.

Undiscovered Canvas also brings you Ngxande’s “Golden Tears” series which stems from the prevalence of rape in society, being a crime that has devastating effects not just on the victims, but also within the broader community of families, friends and loved ones. These effects impact how women (and men) who have been sexually assaulted relate to themselves and society at large.

In using “golden tears” he shows us how precious the loss is that comes from rape. Making a point of how much self-estime a person loses when they encounter sexual violence, he tries to bring across the feeling that impacts a person’s perception of their inner beauty.

Reatlile Moalusi (photographer) in his series “Complexion,” creates evocative portraits that attempt to capture the physical dilemma of Vitiligo, a skin condition that causes depigmentation.

Many African people of colour, faced with a challenge regarding their identity and beauty, have resorted to skin-lightening products with the notion that lighter skin tones are more beautiful.

Moalusi’s portraits metaphorically convey a sense of character to illustrate the dichotomy of dark vs. light which is an element of the new black South African culture evolving from dark to light skin that many perceive as more attractive.

Mathias Chirombo (painter) through his mystical images, exposes the fact that South Africans have clung to ancestor worship, attempting to express their own identity in the face of colonisation and urbanisation. In spite of the inroads made by Christianity, the fact remains that ancestor worship cannot be separated from the African cosmology.

Chirombo’s work is influenced by mediumism and spiritual customs. He explores this dimension through the dreams which inspire his art, using spirituality and emotions to direct him in the search for meaning and guidance.

Please send us your request, concerning the art pieces