Township Art against the odds: Bataki Collective

Daily Maverick | Boris Gorelik:


Township artists don’t want you to see buying their art as supporting them, but rather as an investment. There’s a new generation of collectives that’s starting to understand the true value of the talent they develop. And if they have anything to do with it, their work will be hitting the galleries on large scale in the near future. By Boris Gorelik.

It’s hard to make a living by doing art — particularly if you live in a township. But some people never give up.

Louise van der Bijl knows many of them. She and her friends operate the Assemblage Studios in Newtown, Johannesburg. They try to help young artists like themselves to establish a footing in the Johannesburg arts world.

“In townships, people are very keen to create a space for themselves and to improve their skills,” Van der Bijl says. “Emerging artists elsewhere don’t try as hard. Maybe it’s because they’ve gone through academic institutions and have a lot more confidence.”…


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