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Thursday, October 19, 2023



(Above: Image by Mandisa Buthelezi. Pic supplied)

Acclaimed photographer Mandisa Buthelezi is proud to present the solo exhibition Emgonqweni. The exhibition, opening on October 27, 2023, at The Chairman Gallery, will showcase Buthelezi's captivating photographic works that capture the vibrant spirit and rich cultural heritage of the Zulu people.

Mandisa Buthelezi is a talented photographer known for her captivating exploration of identity, culture, and spirituality. With a keen eye for detail and an unwavering passion for storytelling, Buthelezi's works have been exhibited and celebrated nationwide. Emgonqweni marks her first solo exhibition, inviting viewers on a powerful journey of self-discovery.

(Left: Mandisa Buthelezi. Pic supplied)

The exhibition features Mandisa Buthelezi's photographic works from the past nine years, offering an intimate look at Zulu culture, spirituality and introspection. Through vivid portraiture and documentary photography, Buthelezi captures the rich traditions, close community ties, and deep connection to nature that characterise Zulu life.

The exhibition title, Emgonqweni, meaning “a place of isolation/seclusion”, refers to the Zulu concept of a period of withdrawal and reflection before a major life transition. Buthelezi's photographs provide a window into Zulu identity, culture, and spirituality, exploring the question of who we were before outside influences shaped our worldview.

"My work began as I was drawn to the social and cultural fabrics that seemed so evident in the lives of those I met," said Buthelezi. "Emgonqweni exhibits the Zulu culture in its various forms and how it is defined by its relationships with nature, spirits, and heritage passed down through generations."

Inspired by her deep-rooted connection to the social and cultural fabrics of her subjects, Buthelezi aims to ignite a renewed sense of cultural identity among viewers, stirring ideas of self-growth. She invites us to question the impact of coloniality on our sense of self and to rediscover the essence of who we were before outside cosmologies were imposed upon us. Buthelezi's works serve as a call to action, urging us to tap into our cultural heritage as a source of strength, purpose, and connection.

The Emgonqweni | Mandisa Buthelezi Solo Exhibition will take place at The Chairman Gallery, located at 146 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Point, Durban. The exhibition will run from October 27, 2023.

This exhibition is made possible with the support of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.