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Nomusa Makhubu

Born in: 1984

South Africa


Nomusa Makhubu is an award winning artist and a respected academic. She is a full time lecturer at Michaelis School of Fine Art at University of Cape Town where she lectures art theory. Her personal work is lens based and she uses the medium of photography through which she explores issues of identity and particularly the sensitive issue of representation/self-representation.

Her acclaimed series, Self-Portrait Project alludes to the continued alienation and estrangement in an era where the focus is inclined toward self and individual identity as opposed to collective and communal life. One of the canonical meanings that Achille Mbembe (2002: 241) argues can be attributed to slavery and colonialism (as well as Apartheid) is dispossession, a process in which juridical and economic procedures have led to material expropriation.

Makhubu’s 2013 series The Flood has also received deserved critical acclaim. It marks a departure from her previous work, shifting from the personal to the public, from the performative to documentation. In 2015 she returned to an earlier practice of weaving with photography. Makhubu won her first award in 2006 with an entry of woven photographs. The her current series, In Living Colour she brings two geographical locations in one pictorial space to question the assumed universality and objectivity of time and place.

In November 2013, she was selected as one of fourteen female photographers from around the world invited to participate in the Semiha Es - Women Photographers International Symposium, in Istanbul, Turkey. Her paper, The Power and Terror of the Enactment of Collective Memory in Performative Photography commented directly on her own work, particularly the Self-Portrait Project series.

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  • SouthAfrican Artist

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