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Moments in Time: Framed Perspectives – The Framing of Black Womanhood

Tshwanelo Kubayi


Unit Choice Award

Parish Priests:

Tuliza Sindi, Muhammad Dawjee


19 - The Act of Service


The project interrogates image-making as a tool that builds one’s relationship to and perceived role in the world. It first dissects the still widely used grades 1-3 Cathy & Mark storybooks of the apartheid era. These colonial archives sustain the violence that WEB du Bois terms ‘double black consciousness’, and Anna Julia Cooper terms ‘triple consciousness’ when including gender.

The work then takes the form of triptychs. The first panel of the triptych is the author’s inherited photo from her mother’s photo album, the last panel is the forms of representation that defined the distressed black South African experience at the same time in history as the inherited photo – these images produced, curated, commissioned and/or enforced by larger society – and the middle panel presents the space of malleable futures.

In this middle panel, the foreground contains moveable elements, the middle ground sits as a fixed but porous context between the foreground and background, while the background presents the paradigmatic backdrop of the time. The author moves both in and out of the image, using voids, texture, reflection, sound and moving image to give the subject of the image renewed agency, and to give the audience narrating and world-building capacity.