Wanner explains: I will touch on how stories in their many forms – music, film, books – have helped and continue to help us as we live; how the artist’s voice has been amplified as it has become more needed, but against some very tough odds. I will also touch on the killings of Collins Khoza, George Floyd and Joao Pedro Matos Pinto, and how artists have reacted to their deaths. As well as the very real ‘loss upon loss’, not just of family members and income by artists, but how even the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) has been handled shoddily. And still artists create in spite of, and South Africa and the world continue consuming art in spite of that.
The event will be facilitated by ICA Director, Professor Jay Pather, and Wanner’s lecture will be followed by a Q&A with online viewers.
Zukiswa Wanner is the author of four novels, four children’s books and two books of nonfiction. She has been a columnist for True Love (SA), The Star and Nation (Kenya), N
Theme for the Series
The 2021 Great Texts/Big Questions Lecture Series – Loss upon loss – responds to the complexity of grief and grieving in South Africa and across the continent in the time of Covid-19, with a particular focus on the role and response of artists.
The most critical months of the pandemic have been defined by a near disintegration of cultural and familial rituals for mourning, gathering and coming to terms with death – individually, but especially collectively. A period in which, in so many communities, the deaths of loved ones have followed in such quick succession that there is no ordinary time or proper space to mark their passing. There have been other losses too – jobs, careers, financial security – equally without closure or the promise of resolution. And in the wake of both, a new vocabulary has quickly become part of our everyday speech: Zoom memorials, virtual funerals followed with alarming speed, deep cleaning, lockdowns, social distancing, masks.
Schedule for the Series
- Wed 12 May @ 1pm: Zukiswa Wanner, Creativity in the face of crisis
- Wed 19 May @ 1pm: Yewande Omotoso, Death: unfathomable, inevitable
- Wed 26 May @ 1pm: Athambile Masola, Grieving: surviving imiphanga through a black aesthetic
- Wed 2 June @ 1pm: Lebo Mashile, Crisis catalysing creativity as rituals and as resistance
- Wed 9 June @ 1pm: Percy Mabandu, A Call to artistry: Catharsis, and creative grammars against grief
- Thursday 17 June @ 6pm: Ng?g? wa Thiong’o, Title to be announced