Eclectica Contemporary: Kwaai Exhibition Celebrates Colouredness

KWAAI, this year’s summer exhibition at Eclectica Galleries, seeks to explore the question of “colouredness”. The exhibition will not attempt to provide any answers, but aim to open a conversation around ideas of the coloured identity and the lived experiences of those who carry the moniker.

It will attempt to shine a light on the continued hardships faced by coloured people as a consequence of Apartheid, with a view to contribute positively to the coloured community. This exploration will cover such concepts as legacy, family, fragility, class and dispossession.

“Contrary to what Shakespeare’s Juliet famously opined —‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet’ — I believe that names and labels do matter, especially when it comes to the politics of identity and how we perceive (or, perhaps more tellingly, are made to perceive) ourselves. For me, the lesson we must learn here is to not let others define us. We must be free to assert our own humanity and free to choose to define our selves as we see fit. And if that means being Coloured and proud, so be it. If that also means identifying as black, African or mixed race — whether only some of those labels or all at once — then so be it, too. In my opinion they do not need to be mutually exclusive, and one should be free to be proud of and to assert whichever aspects of one’s identity one chooses.” – Lindsey Johnson, writer and broadcaster

The artists displaying their work at this exhibition do not necessarily label themselves with the term, but they understand that their lived experience is affected by it. The exhibition theme is one the director of Eclectica, Shamiela Toyer, understands intimately. She has experienced both pre and post-apartheid prejudices directed at the coloured community in
Cape Town.

This exhibition was created not just to start a fruitful exploration of the coloured identity, but also to educate other racial and cultural groups about “colouredness”.

For more visit Eclectica Contemporary and don’t miss out on the exhibition which is on until end of January 2019.

Visit Eclectica Contemporary.



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