September/October is Muafangejo’s Season



The John Muafangejo Art Centre (JMAC) in partnership with the National Art Gallery of Namibia presents the John Muafangejo Season, a new project aimed at honouring the remarkable legacy of John Muafangejo through community engagement activities with local and guest practitioners from the Southern African region.

The 2016 season is framed as an intersectional dialogue of art, archivism and activism. It will invite work of South African curator Gabi Ngcobo and artist Nyakallo Maleke. In remembrance of Muafangejo and his work as sites of activism, this week-long programme will be in search of reflective questions that local creative communities should be potentially asking today. This also includes futuristic questions around how we foresee engaging with collective memory and protest art.

This season looks to develop and promote new work geared towards socio-cultural activism,dialogue, share ideas, information and skills on relevant contemporary art and curatorial practices in the context of activism and archivism in Africa as well as create a platform for cultural exchange between practitioners from the region and beyond. The John Muafangejo Season under the theme ‘Art, Archivism & Activism’ will start on September 30 to October 8. The season’s programme will start as on October 5 to November 3-5 with an exhibition titled Muafangejo: Memory and Activism at the National Art Gallery of Namibia.

From October 4 to November 4 there will be an exhibition and performance with Nyakallo Maleke and Gabi Ngcobo at the JMAC Gallery, Shop 18, Craft Centre, Tal Street (Old Breweries). On October 5 there will be an ARTiculation Session Muafangejo as memory for protest today at the National Art Gallery of Namibia. On October 6 at there will be another ARTiculation Session: The African Artist as Activist/Archivist at the Franco Namibia Cultural Centre (FNCC) ending on October 7 with an exhibition/Articulation Session: Performing/ReWriting/Curating the Archive: first reflections on the JMAC needs assessment project, at the Katutura Community Art Centre.

The JMAC is a creative think tank focussing on establishing collaborative methodologies in contemporary art practice and forging expansive networks. Muafangejo was a Namibian artist who became internationally known as a maker of woodcut prints. He created linocuts, woodcuts and etchings. He was born on October 5, 1943 in Etunda lo Nghadi, Angola and died on November 27, 1987 in Katutura.

John Muafangejo was considered the most important visual artist of his country. His linocuts are powerful depictions of people and events, expressed in black and white imagery, condensing the colourful landscapes and animal images of Namibia’s artists of European origin. He often combines text with images, and his images contain references to the history and culture of the Ovakwanyama. He did not live to see the independence of Namibia, but the violent struggle for it formed the background for his art.Muafangejo’s output contains only ca. 260 different prints. Three rooms are devoted to him in the National Art Gallery of Namibia in Windhoek.


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