Manyaku Mashilo in ‘Zul’bambe Linga’shoni’ at Unit London, UK
Artist Manyaku Mashilo will participate in Zul’bambe Linga’shoni, the first of four exhibitions collectively making up The Sun Never Sets, an expansive online project by Unit London. It goes live on 15 November and runs until 18 December 2023 and will feature Mashilo’s 2022 work Dithapelo tša boMma – Kopano le dinaledi, which is Sepedi for ‘Our Mother’s Prayers – A Meeting with the Stars’.
Curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa, Chief Curator of the Stellenbosch Triennale as well as curator of the Liverpool Biennial, Zul’bambe Linga’shoni will present artists from Southern Africa. It forms part of iGwijo, a practice of collective singing deeply embedded in South African Xhosa culture. It harnesses the power of communal expression to communicate a wide variety of emotions and is something often sung during a range of sacred moments and rites of passage including weddings, funerals and initiation ceremonies.
“This particular iGwijo is also linked to freedom struggle songs in South African when those who gathered for night vigils would reckon with deep loss of family members who had disappeared, were imprisoned or no longer living,” explains Mbongwa.
The Sun Never Sets is an expansive online project looking at the aftermath of the British Empire from the perspective of its former colonies. “The idea is to create a rich tapestry of intersecting ideas and perspectives through exhibitions, essays, video content and an interactive atlas of all the countries involved,” shares Kelsey Corbett, Head of Research and Programme Curator at Unit London.
“A series of group exhibitions, organised geographically and each with an independent curator from the region, would include artists from former colonies whose work engages with post-colonialism,” she continues. “In turn, this forms part of Unit London’s online Voices curatorial programme and we envision that the overarching project will run for about a year as it moves across the globe.” At the heart of the programme is a social mission, providing a dynamic platform for international artists grappling with the important social, political and environmental issues of our time.
Artists Euridice Zaituna Kala (Mozambique/France), Nothando Chiwanga (Zimbabwe), Breeze Yoko (SA), Ozhopé Collective (Malawi) and Matty Monethi (Lesotho) will all present works, alongside DJ Indira Mateta (Angola), DJ and musician Thandolwethu Mamba (Eswatini) and Sisonke Papu (SA) who will create an exhibition score.