In her last exhibition, artist and curator Mbali Tshabalala was inspired by the monster that is xenophobia. She focused on the commonalities of both the victims and perpetrators in her art ”books”.

”I wanted to create open books that depicted our similarities as people. Everyone is a foreigner somewhere; humans have been migrating from the beginning of time and the place you call home was once another’s home.

“It’s not enough to tolerate each other. It’s important we actually learn how to treat each other as humans,” says Tshabalala.

The 29-year-old from Malvern, in the east of Johannesburg, admits to being a printmaker at heart but works mostly in sculptural glass and ceramics.

She began printmaking at a community art centre in Kliptown, Soweto, in 2011 and then started darkroom photography under the mentorship of Victor Matom and the late Dumisani Mabaso.

Today Tshabalala has over 20 group exhibitions under her belt as an artist. read more