(“Untitled 21” by Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose)
“I was born eThekwini (formerly Durban)1. Growing up ebhish’ laseThekwini2 (on/at the Durban beachfront), summers were often the highlight of the year. My family and I would drive to the beach in a car packed to the brim with camp chairs, cooler boxes and treats. En route, as kids, we would sing gleefully, eBhish’ Durban, ebhish’, bhish’, bhish’, Durban! This excitement reverberated with crowds of other kids who would splash about the public pools. I have fond memories of a mixture of sea water and chlorine. I’d often swim for hours until uMa noma uGogo would drag me out of the pool.
"Ibhish’ laseThekwini holds a lot of personal, as well as political, significance for me. The history of black people’s relationship with the space has largely been marked by discrimination and segregation. Our absence in visual archives reflects this, as they are largely populated by historical photographs of white beachgoers.
“Photography is more than a form of visual representation. It is a tool for refusing negative portrayals of black people, particularly by white-dominated institutions. My practice is foregrounded in the willingness to be vulnerable4 in the face of the history of photography and to create multivocal imagery which permeates fixed notions of time. The photographs are captured while swimming.”
The exhibition opens on January 21, 2021, at 18h00 and will be accompanied by an extensive public programme. KZNSA observes all protocols for Covid-19 under Level 1, including social distancing and screening. Please wear a face mask.