6 April – 31 May 2022

The NWU Gallery is thrilled to present an exhibition co-curated by Amohelang Mohajane, Boitumelo Makousu, Nokukhanya Khumalo and Tsepang Bereng using the NWU Collection.

The exhibition is inspired by the 2022 African Critical Inquiry Workshop (ACIP) titled Unsettling the Single Society. The workshop Unsettling the Single Society will challenge the myth that settler colonialism and the attendant idea of separate societies ended in 1994. By returning to Gluckman, it will encourage questions around how settler colonialism was and still is a structure of domination that continues into the present.

The exhibition explores the themes of belonging and unbelonging; symbolic and material labour; land and landscape; structural and direct violence; and contested knowledge, themes that structure the historical and ongoing composition of our settler colonial world.

Unsettling the single society
Poem by Ruben Jooste
Centuries back, those whose bloodline led to me, came to this land.
They settled and called this beautiful land home.
I do concede that their initial intent, was driven by greed
and the ways they proceeded; I will never condone.
But please do understand, my heritage is unique when compared
to the other white men from across the sea.
You see, my mother sang lullabies in a tongue that found its meaning in
and through the South African landscape.

Oh how I wish, those who came before me did not fear the ‘other’.
Oh, how I wish there were no reason to fear those who came before me.
Oh, how I wish they did not drape
the backdrop for division, from which we still struggle to escape.

There’s a vision for our future that belongs to us all.
For some time now, I thought that it would never truly come to be.
It felt like a lie, to declare that we’ve been born free.
But you see, we’ve been one all along.
Those who came before us tried to do it for, and on their own.
A society divided, forced to segregate.
Let us come together, think together and build together.
The time has come to integrate
in a way never seen before.
A separate society, no more






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