The African Studies Center presents
Existing in the Shadow
Online Exhibition: October 1-31
Special Event: In Dialogue: Vanessa Tembane & Professor Tanya Shields, Women’s and Gender Studies
Thursday, October 28: 4:30-5:30 pm
Vanessa Tembane (b. 1995) is a South African born artist, with Mozambican heritage, currently based in Johannesburg. Tembane holds a Master of Fine Arts. Tembane works primarily in collage and digital print media. Her work is inspired by her mother’s narratives and explores how they have influenced her identity and sense of belonging. Her collages allow her to merge her photographs that were taken in South Africa with those of her Mozambican relatives and to create strange hybridized composites. The collages combine photographic cut-outs with details of swathes of fabric – capulanas – that were given to Tembane by her grandmother and aunts during occasional visits to Mozambique. Tembane’s collages become a means of telling stories about her origins and what is in some sense an alternative “home” culture, albeit one she mostly experienced indirectly. They enable her to identify with her mother’s country of origin by constructing new imagined memories for herself, and through this, to achieve a sense of belonging.