The problem with African contemporary art is….?
June – September 2021
Virtual platforms
August House, Johannesburg
The Stables, Parktown, Johannesburg


In recent years there has been a lot of excitement about African work, with many rushing to join what has been touted as “an African moment”. But what does it mean? And is there any longevity to it? Along with colleagues, we wanted to better understand a small slice of this complicated dynamic. We posed the questions:

  • What has created this “African” moment in the world?
  • How do we protect ourselves from being taken advantage of?
  • How can we find our own voice in this moment, that has seemingly been created externally?
  • Are we just being placated by the world and we will once again end up being unconsidered in years to come?
  • This project contains a series of prints done in response to this debate.


To view the project, talks, prints, publication of essays, zine & related content  click here

EXHIBITION of Prints, Curated by Nxumalo Studios

TALKS Curated by Sara Hallat & Participants

ESSAYS by various project contributing partners

ZINE Produced by Alphabet Zoo




This project started with the aim of discussing, debating and responding to where African Contemporary Art sits within the current global and continental context. It used as its starting point the somewhat cynical statement “The problem with African contemporary art is…”. Over the last 3 months, the project has seen writers and academics, emerging and established artists and curators come together to respond, reframe and review their position on the topic. 


Project Participants/Partners : 

Gemma Hart, Curator, writer and facilitator based in Johannesburg.
Patrick Mudekereza, Writer and cultural operator
Anthea Buys, Curator and writer
Omphemetse Ramatlhatse, Oil and mixed medium painter, illustrator, sculptor, silkscreen printmaker, writer and an aspiring curator and researcher
Molemo Moiloa, Writer & researcher who works at the intersection of creative practice and community organising.
Ashraf Jamal, Writer & Arts critic
Nkgopoleng Moloi, Writer and an MA student in contemporary curatorial practices at Wits University
Vusi Nkomo, Writer, educator, musician, media and cultural practitioner, political organiser
Nolen Stevens, Arts writer, independent curator and award-winning visual artist.
Mncedi Madolo, Painter
Valerie Kabov, Co-founder and director of First Floor Gallery Harare, Zimbabwe
Thonton Kabeya, Painter and sculptor as well as installation, art performance and designs
Edward Tsumele, An award-winning journalist
Palesa Suthane, Curator
Vivien Kohler, Experimental mixed media painter
Kaelik Dullaart, Mixed media Artist focused on self-publishes zines.
Lebogang Mogul Mabusela, Multidisciplinary artist and a self-proclaimed monotypebabe and zinequeen
Johan Stegmann, describes himself as a “Johannesburg based artist using Charcoal, Etchings and Explosions”.
Nyakallo Maleke, Multidisciplinary artist who works with installation, sculpture, printmaking, video and performance.
Khotso Motsoeneng, Photographer and self-taught painter and printmaker,
Madikotsi “Mummy” Khumalo, Printmaker in intaglio and relief.
Jan Tshikhuthula, Multidisciplinary artist, printmaker
Nandipha Mntambo, Painter and sculptor and multidisciplinary artist
Richard “Specs” Ndimande, Painter, sculptor, photographer
Bevan De Wet, Artist
Mary Sibande, Sculptor
Fleur De Bondt, Painter
Michele Rolstone, Printer, Multidisciplinary artist
Minenkulu Ngoyi, Artist, Zine maker (Alphabet Zoo)
Solomon Moremong, Photographer
Sara Hallatt, Director, Meta foundation
Yolanda Mtombeni, Projects, Meta foundation
Musa N. Nxumalo, Photographer, Curator


Event Photos