“My work involves both research in the arts as well as making and organising within the arts. One can’t seem to exist without the other; they necessitate each other in an entangled net. Within this net, foraging’s from my work reside, ranging from my home town in Johannesburg to nodes of interest scattered across Southern Africa, the East Coast of Africa and into the Indian Ocean (land and sea) as well as up into China. Through research and artistic participation in these areas, slow-paced projects have emerged. Most recently, I have been working through some long-term interest about the ambiguous history of the kung fu uprisings in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Here, I have been looking at alternative narratives of this history by navigating through power and social repositories. I worked with sonic art and animation as alternative languages that can speak into the folklore, oral history and everyday experiences of the research, taking into account comics and films already made on the subject. In other aspects of my work I engage notions of ‘feelings’, ‘hanging out’ and ‘making’ as methods to generate knowledge, as well as understanding the actual materiality of the ocean and land. Currently I am digging deeper into the foraging’s in my entangled net, building conversations between what is there and further developing alternative languages for these conversations to emerge.
However, through a need to conduct research of my own, entanglement with the area resulted in being involved in organising in the arts in broader terms. In 2010 a small group of artists from Madagascar and South Africa incl myself set up a network called Africa|Nosy Art Echange (ANAE), as a response to a lack of connectivity and opportunity in the arts at the time between Madagascar, neighboring islands and continental Africa. ANAE was founded to favor geo and body politics of knowing, and thus aims to bring people together so that knowledges can be laterally shared/generated between artists who live in these divided yet connected spaces. We began to work on building ways for artists to come together in Madagascar (so far: Ambhoimangakhely, Antananarivo, Mahjanga, Antsiranana, Badamera) that have emerged into annual residencies (virtual, workshop-based and open) and festivals (Festival d’Art Urbain). Artists from South Africa, Zimbabwe, DRCongo, Zambia, Kenya, Seychelles, Reunion, Benin, Comores and Mauritius have engaged with Malagasy artists via Is’Art Galerie through these platforms. Initially, the network started off as ‘friendly’ so that it could grow gently through those who were engaged with it as opposed to wide, open calls. Now, however, it has opened up a lot more.”