Black People : Siyazama: (Zulu for) "We Are Trying"

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by NNQueen, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The other day I visited a museum near where I work, to look around and see if there were at any new exhibits I hadn't seen before. There was one, in particular, that immediately caught my eye (visually and consciously). It's a travelling exhibit called, "Siyazama". The following is a description of what it's about:

    "Throughout the world art has long been used as a tool for cultural, social, and economic change. In South Africa many educators and activists used performing and visual arts in the successful anti-apartheid movement. Now arts are being used there to inform and inspire citizens about the AIDS epidemic.

    Fighting AIDS within South Africa presents many challenges. Even though the post-apartheid government has mandated changes, many communities continue to experience high rates of poverty and racial discrimination. Perhaps more importantly, strongly maintained traditional practices and beliefs, especially related to gender roles, inhibit conventional approaches to AIDS education. Despite these challenges, many community organizations have turned to the arts for innovative AIDS education and outreach projects.

    One arts-based intervention, the Siyazama (Zulu for "we are trying") Project, uses traditional and contemporary artistic expression to document the realities of HIV/AIDS and to open lines of communication about the virus. Though based in South Africa, the project is a replicable model for collaborations among artists, educators, and health practitioners."
    ----------------------------------------

    As for my experience in looking at all the pieces of artwork...beading, basket weaving, sculpting and doll-making...they were exquisitely made but the stories they told were absolutely heart wrenching. Each artist (who were "simple living" women telling their tragic stories) had a mind shattering story to tell. These women were a lot younger in age than me but appeared much, much older and that's probably due to the state of their living condition.

    I said all of that to say, if you have the opportunity, see this exhibit. It may cause some of you, like it did me, to pause and take a reality check. Black Americans aren't the only ones who feel they are fighting a life and death battle. But this exhibit showed me that there are Black people who are not doing a lot of talking, aren't sitting by waiting for death to come, but are doing great things with simple materials to help themselves.

    Queenie :heart:
     
  2. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Very true Queenie.
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    http://museum.msu.edu/museum/tes/siyazama.htm

    Siyazama: Traditional Arts, Education,
    and AIDS in South Africa

    Click here to view the online version of the exhibit

    Throughout the world art has long been used as a tool for cultural, social, and economic change. In South Africa many educators and activists used performing and visual arts in the successful anti-apartheid movement. Now arts are being used there to educate individuals about the realities of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This exhibition explores how traditional knowledge and skills are used to address contemporary issues in South Africa. It showcases the Siyazama (Zulu for "we are trying") Project, an arts education project based in KwaZulu Natal which uses traditional crafts to raise awareness about AIDS.

    As of 2005, 20 million people worldwide have died from AIDS and 39 million people are living with AIDS. In Africa alone, 25 million people are infected and there are 14 million orphans. With 5 million new HIV infections a year, AIDS is an epidemic of disastrous proportions. Over 100 pieces in this exhibit-including indigenous traditional art forms such as beadwork, dollmaking, basketry and wirework-reveal how South African artists are using their work to educate others as well as to cope with the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS in their own lives and communities.


    SCHEDULE FOR 2009-2010:

    Institute for Community Research
    Hartford, Connecticut
    April 17 - June 26, 2009

    Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois
    Urbana, Illinois
    August 17, 2010 - January 2, 2011


    This exhibition has been displayed at the Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI. A selection of objects from "Siyazama" has been displayed at the African American Performing Arts Center, Albuquerque, NM.
     
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