Contemporary Art

NJE Collective Feature: Masiyaleti Mbewe

Masiyaleti Mbewe (Born January 23rd 1991 ) is a Zambian born afrofuturist writer, photographer, activist and curator based in Namibia. Her work explores the complex themes of race, sexuality, ableism and gender within their various intersections in the afrofuture.

Asteria,  Masiyaleti Mbewe, Digital Photograph, 2017. 

Asteria, Masiyaleti Mbewe, Digital Photograph, 2017. 

Tove Jeomba Kangotue Represnting for all Forms of Blackness,  Masiyaleti Mbewe, Digital Photograph, 2017. 

Tove Jeomba Kangotue Represnting for all Forms of Blackness, Masiyaleti Mbewe, Digital Photograph, 2017. 

 

Her debut solo exhibition, ‘The Afrofuturist Village’ was first showcased at the Goethe-Institut in Namibia under the FAVT (Future African Visions In Time) travelling exhibition in February 2018 and focused on queering and redirecting stereotypical views in the afrofuture in an effort to advocate for more inclusivity.

Mbewe, (from analytical view) critics the various respectability politics in afrofuturism that promote a very distinct heteronormative and intergalactical representation of black bodies. Instead of focusing on black people in space, the Afrofuturist Village aimed to showcase diverse African future-cultures within a space on earth that was inclusive of marginalized people i.e. the LGBTQIA+ community, disabled individuals as well as hearing and visually impaired people. 

Through the use of braille instillations, photography, video and sign-language interpretation, the Afrofuturist Village was a starting point for more inclusivity in afrofuturism. Drawing from a traditional African healing cleansing, the exhibition encouraged dialogue centered around healing, reconciling with our pasts and expanding the often monolithic ideas around blackness and spirituality in the afrofuture. 

Mbewe obtained her BA (Hons) in Journalism and English at the University of Namibia in 2016.  She has worked as a copywriter, journalist and photographer in Namibia for a number of years and aims to expand her future exhibitions around the same concepts in an effort to capture blackness in the afrofuture as diverse and equal.

Ericke: The Guardian , Masiyaleti Mbewe, Digital Photograph, 2017.  

Ericke: The Guardian, Masiyaleti Mbewe, Digital Photograph, 2017.  

NJE Collective Feature: Jo Rogge

 

Jo Rogge’s (b.1963) art is an attempt to render and navigate highly intense emotive states, provoked by a world fraught with conflict. Conflicts surrounding the body, especially bodies in precarious positions, are central to her work.

 The human body, as a fragment or even as an idea, is used by Rogge as an intuitive language for deciphering and deliberating over our emotional lives and experiences. She uses the bodily form as a conduit for probing fundamental beliefs about gender, body politics, identity, and sexuality.

The act of drawing is a fundamental part of Rogge’s artistic process: it is almost always the starting point for her creations.Through her fluid renderings of bodily gendered expression, she calls into question the dichotomous notions of ‘male’ and ‘female’, challenges heteronormative assumptions, and creates a new crucible for queer voices. At the same time, she poses uncomfortable questions about difference and belonging.

Rogge lives and works between Namibia and South Africa. She is the founder of the NJE Collective, which facilitates informal mentorship between young, developing artists and their more established counterparts.

In September 2016, she received a grant from the Other Foundation to create a new body of work addressing identity, stigma and discrimination in the LGBTI community in Namibia. Rogge’s constant interrogation of the ‘Othered’ body has led her to a range of projects across the globe, working in diverse media. Rogge is also currently advisor and editor for the first-ever documentary film about young black transgender Namibians.” (Gunsandrain)

Three Lovers Are Better Than None,  Jo Rogge, Mixed Media, 2018. 

Three Lovers Are Better Than None, Jo Rogge, Mixed Media, 2018. 

Always In A Holding Pattern , JoRogge, Mixed Media, 2018. 

Always In A Holding Pattern, JoRogge, Mixed Media, 2018. 

Staying Afloat,  Jo Rogge, Mixed Media, 2018. 

Staying Afloat, Jo Rogge, Mixed Media, 2018.