Johannesburg CBD artists put up exhibition in honour of students of 1976

By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor

The youth of 1976, the learners that made history when they confronted the Apartheid administration head on over the issue introducing Afrikaans as a language of instructions at black schools today are celebrated as heroes. But to the apartheid state then, they were seen as trouble makers and some of them lost their lives as they were shot at by the police. Yet others till this day carry the scars from that skirmish, psychological and physical scars. These scars are not healing easily.

Today the country is free, but that does not mean that the youth of today do not have challenges of their own, a different generation and different set of problems in society.

For example when students at tertiary institutions took to the streets on and off campus in 2016, citing the issue of expensive tuition fees and the alienating curriculum, they framed their protest in relation to the 1976 Sowero Uprisings as the protest is called, and framed their argument for the action as a struggle for the right to learn in a democratic country.

This June, a group of visual artists, most of them too young to have been part of the 1976 protests are putting up a pop up exhibition in inner city Johannesburg and among those3 participating in this exhibition are Themba Khumalo, Mbali Tshabalala,  Vivien Kohler, Michaele Selekane, Steve Maphopho, Stephan Langa, Sthembiso Zwane, Lloyd Maluleke,  Patrick Seruwu,  Zamani Xaba, Sibusiso Makhunga, Walter Maluleke,  Philip Mabote, Samson Mnisi, Lebohang Sithole and Victor Kuster.

in a media release sent out this week ahead of the opening of the exhibition on at 94 Main Street, Marshalltown, Johannesburg this June 16,.the  artists revealed that the title of the exhibition is 16 June: 1976 – Here Now .This event will include live performances by jazz ensemble, iPhupho L’ka Biko and multi award-winning poet Christian Maz, the artists state in a statement.

The exhibition 16 June: 1976 – Here Now opens at 11am – 4pm at 94 Main Street, Marshalltown, Johannesburg this June 16.

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