Kneo Mokgopa: 'Nelson Mandela Is Dead' at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Nov 30 - Mar 1 2024       107 Central St, Houghton
Artist and writer Kneo Mokgopa reflects on the death of South Africa's first democratic president Nelson Mandela (Dec 5, 2013) and what this has meant for the nation in a timely exhibition at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Houghton. Calling to mind the famous Athol Fugard play Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, an exploration of identity, the exhibition is titled Nelson Mandela Is Dead and asks the viewer to confront the undercurrents and consequences of Madiba's passing one decade on.

The weight of Mandela's loss has been felt practically as well as symbolically, and the exhibition asks, "What would Nelson Mandela have said if he were here? What would he have done?"

Naturally, these are questions we don't have answers to, but they highlight the urgency of our current social and political moment. As the writing and research manager at the Nelson Mandela Foundation and a thought fellow with Stellenbosch University Centre for Critical and Creative Thought, Mokgopa brings a unique perspective to these open questions. Human rights, the law, racism, the gender binary and socio-economic stratification are all recurring touchpoints in Mokgopa's practice. 

Visuals of this exhibition don't give much away – the magic is in your being there and engaging with the works, as the installations are designed with interaction in mind. In one section of the exhibition, you're asked to move a handful of salt from one very heavy bowl to the other: a simple, potent action symbolic of the weight of change and the collective efforts required to get us where we need to go as a nation. 

Note the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory closes on Fri, Dec 15 and reopens on Tue, Jan 2, 2024. 



Nov 30 2023 - Mar 1 2024
Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
107 Central St, Houghton
Put our app in your pocket
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE