A historical Imperialism, articulated through invasion and occupation. A systematic division spawned from the imaginations of white men to conquer for capital gains. A continent sliced up by the butcher’s knife of colonialism. Corners of conflict, fictioned intersections amputated and dislocated. A coloniality that runs through the semi-visible veins of demarcated territory. The divide between here and there.
1.the part or edge of a surface or area that forms its outer boundary.
2.the line that separates
The phonetic Boda Boda Lounge Project emerged two years ago, as an intercontinental visual engagement that began to explore the notion of physical and conceptual mobility between spatially divided land. Fifteen different art organizations hosted the event across Africa this year. The project took place during the weekend of 18th-20th of November. Simnikiwe Buhlungu was one of the participating artists peppered across the continent.
Simnikiwe exhibited a video piece entitled System to Dekakanise – she describes the piece as an exploration into “the complicated existence of languages in a socio-historical and cultural context in South Africa through the use of drawing and what I call Broken Inglish as a way of navigating various spaces.” The piece is an interesting and nuanced critique – articulating the legacy of assimilated English that stemmed from colonial rule and seeps into the contemporary moment.
Boda Boda transcends borders through its, “cross-continental approach. The fact that the videos are simultaneously screened in various African countries which have different, but similar, socio-political climates and histories. While the videos may engage in the same framework (of the project), they are all equally different and tell stories from different perspectives.” Through this mode of representation, the project avoided singular narratives.
The young artist perceived the conceptual crux of the project as, “Engaging with the spaces by which the artists are surrounded. Negotiating issues that exists both in the centre and on the periphery. Probing socio-political, cultural and historical thought with issues that are (un)discussed on the African continent. Doing so through the medium of video, which has its own history and existence in Africa. Something that is still somewhat of [an] overlooked medium in some respects, but also a medium that can be transferred to daily experiences do to its versatility as a technology. So finding a meeting point between these engagements and the medium of video.”
Her engagement with other artists was heavily facilitated by digital media, “the engagement is not necessarily a physical one. It’s a virtual engagement, an (un)spoken engagement, it’s also a visual engagement when you see the other artists’ videos for the first time whether you are aware of their respective practices or not.” In this way work becomes a lens and proxy for physical interactions.
Conceptual links that spanned the continent were notions of, “transgenerational conflicts, trauma, [un]written histories, bodies and what these bodies endure, navigating new and old spaces, language[s], socio-politics, economies of various kinds, colonial(ities) urgency and artistic response to these urgencies.”
Atef Berredjem (Algeria)
Awuor Onyango (Kenya)
Boitumelo Motau (South Africa)
Cameron Platter (South Africa)
Christopher Wessels (South Africa)
Ezra Wube (Ethiopia)
Francois Knoetze (South Africa)
Bofa Da Cara
Gustave Fundi Mwamba (DRC)
Jere Ikongio (Nigeria)
Junior Nyembwe (DRC)
Kutala Chopeto (South Africa)
Lydia Ourahmane (Algeria)
Maurice Mbikayi (DRC)
Mulugeta Gebrekidan (Ethiopia)
Ngassam Tchatchoua Yvon Léolein (Cameroon)
Ntathu Mandisa Gumbi (South Africa)
Ori Huchi Kozia (Congo Brazzaville)
Paulo Azevedo (Angola)
Simnikiwe Buhlungu (South Africa)
Simohammed Fettaka (Morocco)
Sisipho Mase (South Africa)
Sofiane Zouggar (Algeria)
Teboho Gilbert Letele (South Africa)
Ubulungiswa Justice Collaboration (South Africa)
Vincent Bezuidenhout & Nobushinge Kono (South Africa & Japan)
Wiame Haddad (Morocco/ Tunisia)